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Rhode Island Casino Company Buys Three Properties From Caesars And Eldorado

Sale Should Make It Easier For Regulators To Approve Pending Merger

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In a move that removed large roadblocks to the approval of the pending $17.3 billion merger between Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts, a Rhode Island casino company bought three casinos from the two companies.

Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings, the casino company that owns Rhode Island’s two brick-and-mortar gambling operations, purchased casinos in New Jersey, Louisiana, and Nevada from the two larger corporations.

Twin Rivers bought Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars for $25 million, while it spent a combined $155 million in buying Eldorado’s Mont Bleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe and Eldorado Shreveport in Louisiana.

Since the announcement of the pending merger last year, Caesars and Eldorado have continually sold properties to avoid any monopoly concerns from gaming regulators.

Eldorado sold three casinos in West Virginia and Missouri last summer before dumping another one of its Louisiana casinos last January. Caesars sold a property in Reno in January as well.

With the purchase, Twin Rivers expands its portfolio. It already had properties in Rhode Island, Colorado, Delaware, and Mississippi, according to the Washington Times.

“This is a great deal for Twin River, and diversifies our business across eight states,” Soo Kim, chairman of the company’s board of directors told the Times. “It reaffirms our commitment to employers, customers and the communities in which we operate that Twin River will be stronger than ever.”

The sale of Bally’s might be the key piece in the deal and increases the likelihood of approval in the Garden State.

Daniel Heneghan, a gaming analyst, and former spokesman for the New Jersey Casino Control Commission told the newspaper that the sale lessens the footprint in Atlantic City just enough to ease worry from the regulatory bodies.

“It will significantly reduce the level of economic concentration and that will make it a lot easier for the Casino Control Commission to approve it,” said Heneghan. “The fact that it is being sold to a new player for the market here will help increase the competition. I’m sure the need to get New Jersey approval was a big factor in deciding to sell the property.”

Caesars will maintain control of the sportsbook in Bally’s and the Wild Wild West area adjacent to the book. The two properties are connected, and visitors do not need to go outside to move from one property to another, meaning that the borders of the two casinos have officially changed.