Harrah's Entertainment ( HET) is moving closer to consummating its purchase of Caesars Entertainment ( CZR), a deal that will create the world's largest casino company.

On Wednesday evening Harrah's said the Federal Trade Commission had signed off on the merger. Federal approval was widely expected. Next up is the Nevada Gaming Commission, which is set to meet Friday. Industry experts expect state regulators to follow the FTC's lead in approving the merger.

If that happens, Harrah's expects to complete the merger next Monday. Harrah's is paying about $1.9 billion in cash and 67.9 million shares for Caesars in a deal worked out last July.

The casino industry's other megamerger -- MGM Mirage's ( MGM) purchase of Mandalay Resort Group -- closed in April.

Harrah's shares were up 43 cents, or 0.6%, at $72.45 midmorning Thursday. Caesars shares gained 11 cents, or 0.5%, to $21.78.

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