• Caesars currently operates legal sportsbooks in four states across the U.S.
  • Eldorado also offers four sports betting facilities in four U.S. states, including Tropicana Resorts in Atlantic City.
  • Both companies have strategic sports betting partnerships which include companies such as ESPN, the NFL, Turner Broadcasting, DraftKings, The Stars Group, and Fox.

Reno, Nev. – In a landmark deal announced on Monday, Eldorado Resorts plans to purchase Caesars Entertainment for $17.3 billion.

According to the press release made by Eldorado, the company’s shareholders will hold 51% of outstanding shares while Caesars will hold 49%. The merger, in turn, creates the largest gaming company in the U.S. in terms of total assets and casino properties.

The merged company’s footprint will include 60 domestic casino-resorts and gaming facilities that span across 16 states. Some of those states include one’s where legal sports betting is currently legal such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Mississippi.

Those states also include ones that recently passed bills that have legalized the activity including Iowa, Indiana, and soon to be Illinois. Both Eldorado and Caesars have previous sports betting partnerships and deals that could position themselves to be the front runners in the growing industry.

“We bring the William Hill and The Stars Group access partnerships,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Eldorado.

“Caesars has a plethora of sports partnerships, including league partnerships, team partnerships, ESPN… and we see them all fitting together. We would see William Hill and TSG rolling into access deals across the Caesars portfolio to the extent that they’re not already offered in our portfolio. But we think the opportunity in sports betting in the combined company is as good as there is out there at this point.”

The deal also gives Eldorado access to the Caesars Rewards loyalty system which has a database of about 65 million people. The combined company will also keep the Caesars name for the sake of its brand recognition.

Pending upon regulatory approval, the sale of Caesars Entertainment should finalize in early 2020.

What US Sports Betting Assets Is Eldorado Receiving?

Caesars Entertainment has been in the news multiple times over the past year with their strategic approach to legal US sports betting.

The professional sports teams that Tom Reeg mentioned in his statement include the Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders, New Jersey Devils, and Philadelphia 76rs. All of these partnerships came in 2018 and each team has incorporated the company into its operations in different ways.

In January of 2019, Caesars became the official casino partner of the NFL. The deal gives Caesars access to use the NFL trademark in any of its U.S. properties, including ones with sportsbooks.

Only one month after that, Caesars signed a deal with Turner Broadcasting. Bleacher Report, a subdivision of Turner Broadcasting, will be in charge of delivering live sports wagering-focused content from the Caesars Las Vegas sportsbook.

Another major partnership that Caesars has in place is with ESPN. Just last month, Caesars was named the official odds data supplier for the sports network.

All of these assets, plus a connection with DraftKings Sportsbook already made Caesars a front runner in terms the current US sports betting industry. But, Eldorado did not come to the table empty handed.

Eldorado Resorts currently owns Tropicana Resorts which has an active sportsbook in their Atlantic City location. In September of 2018, the company also acquired 20 % of William Hill US. The purchase gives the company market access across William Hill US’s portfolio.

What may complicate the deal is the fact that Eldorado has a deal with The Stars Group and the Stars Group has an investment already taken on by Fox. ESPN is a direct competitor of Fox so it will be interesting to see how their new dynamic plays out.

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