The Nevada-based parents of several Indiana casinos have announced plans to merge. Eldorado Resorts Inc. (Nasdaq: ERI) says it will acquire the outstanding shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: CZR) in a deal valued at more than $17 billion.

Eldorado owns the Tropicana Evansville casino, while Caesars owns the Horseshoe casinos in Hammond and Harrison County, as well as Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson. Eldorado says, if the deal is approved, the combined company will continue to operate under the Caesars name and trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

"Eldorado’s combination with Caesars will create the largest owner and operator of U.S. gaming assets and is a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate and long-term value to stakeholders of both companies," said Tom Reeg, chief executive officer of Eldorado. "Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brands, as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming."

Our partners at WIBC in Indianapolis report the deal requires approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Legislation passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly allowing casino operators to have up to six casinos in the state goes into effect Monday. However, IGC Deputy Director Jenny Reske tells the station the law directs the commission to consider whether an acquisition would create an "undue concentration of assets" with one company.

The acquisition has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, but still requires approval from shareholders and various gaming authorities throughout the country. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

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