Nevada Gaming Approves Eldorado-Caesars Merger, William Hill To Run Sportsbooks

Written By Marc Meltzer on July 9, 2020

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and separate Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved the merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment during a special hearing on Wednesday. Both regulators also approved William Hill’s request to take over sportsbook operations at all of Caesars’ Nevada properties.

This special hearing was put together shortly after the Federal Trade Commission cleared the way for this deal. The massive meeting agenda tackled a merger deal that has been in the works since being announced last June.

The merger, which will create a new Caesars Entertainment, still needs approvals from Indiana and New Jersey before it can become official.

What the new Caesars Entertainment will be

Technically, Eldorado Resorts is buying Caesars Entertainment. However, the new company will take the brand name of the company being purchased. Caesars is one of the most well-known casino operators in the world, and Eldorado wants to capture that brand awareness.

When the deal is complete, Caesars will have 60 properties in 14 states. This will make Caesars the largest US casino operator. During the special session, Gary Carano, Eldorado’s executive chairman of the board of directors, told the NGCB:

“It’s a brand that is known worldwide. The Las Vegas properties have over the years been a little bit neglected, but over the last couple of years with (Caesars CEO) Tony Rodio (who will stay on as a strategic advisor) and his team infusing money back into the properties. They’re great assets and we’re very excited about the opportunity to acquire these properties as well as across America that Caesars has built.

The company will focus on US operations when the merger is complete as a way to streamline expenses. Eldorado and Caesars are currently looking to divest most if not all foreign assets. Eldorado Resorts is planning on selling at least one Las Vegas asset in the 12 months after the merger is complete.

Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill

In January 2019,  William Hill signed a deal with Eldorado Resorts to operate its sportsbooks around the country. The international sportsbook operator already takes wagers at Eldorado Resorts’ properties in Nevada. The approval this week will allow William Hill to operate Caesars’ sportsbooks at all Nevada properties as well.

William Hill’s expansion in Nevada continues as the company will add the following Caesars properties to its roster:

  • Caesars Palace
  • The Cromwell
  • Bally’s
  • Flamingo
  • The Linq
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas
  • Harrah’s Laughlin
  • Harvey’s Lake Tahoe
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Rio

Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said the company will create a new sports betting app for Caesars, which is currently Caesars Sports. The new app will be called Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. The app will be built using William Hill’s technology.

When the deal is complete, existing Caesars sportsbook account holders will be moved to one of the William Hill apps. Details should be revealed about the new sports wagering app soon.

The new Caesars app will be different from the existing William Hill app. The distinct feature for Caesars will be the integration of Caesars Rewards in the new app.

William Hill would like to begin operations of all Caesars sportsbooks by the end of July or the beginning of August. During the hearing, Asher also said that William Hill will offer pari-mutuel horse wagering at all Caesars Las Vegas casinos except for The Cromwell.

More expansion coming for William Hill

William Hill will continue its expansion in Las Vegas again later this year after the gaming commissions approve its purchase of CG Technology assets. After approval from gaming authorities, William Hill will also operate the sportsbooks at the following casinos in Las Vegas:

  • Cosmopolitan
  • The Venetian
  • The Palazzo (Lagasse’s Stadium)
  • Tropicana (currently closed)
  • Palms (currently closed)
  • Silverton

Consolidation is often good for the business operator. That’s not always the case for the customer. In this case, Las Vegas sports bettors will lose two unique sportsbook operators before the year is over. Less competition means fewer options for customers.

Caesars and CG Technology currently offer two sets of lines and odds that won’t be available to bettors in the future. Sports bettors won’t have as many wagering options when the deals for William Hill are complete.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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