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Eldorado Gets Indiana OK to Buy Caesars - Now It Needs NJ

Casino company Eldorado received Indiana's OK to buy Caesars Entertainment. Now it needs only clearance from New Jersey.
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Eldorado Resorts  (ERI)  said the Indiana Gaming Commission approved its $17.3 billion acquisition of peer casino titan Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) .

The deal would create the world’s largest casino entity.

On Thursday it garnered the nod from Nevada casino regulators. The Federal Trade Commission approved the takeover June 26, after Eldorado agreed to sell properties in Kansas City, Mo., South Lake Tahoe, California, and in Louisiana.

Now the transaction needs only clearance from New Jersey.

The combined company would operate 55 properties in 16 U.S. states and several other countries. It would keep the Caesars Entertainment name and stock ticker.

“You should expect us to focus on domestic gaming,” Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg said in testimony to the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Associated Press reports.

Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek sees a potential stumbling block for the deal.

“Given the material impact the coronavirus stands to have on leisure and travel demand and the financial health of Caesars and Eldorado, we see funding risk to Eldorado's proposed acquisition of Caesars closing,” he wrote in a commentary last month.

"If the merger is completed, we don't believe the combined company would warrant a moat, given that the increased exposure to low-barrier U.S. gaming markets would remain intact.”

Eldorado shares recently traded at $39.88, down 2.6%. The stock has dropped 33% year to date.

Caesars shares recently traded at $12.19, down 0.7% The stock has dipped 11% year to date. The S&P 500 index has eased 2% during that period.