Eldorado Resorts is in the process of completing its mammoth $17.3 billion merger with Caesars Entertainment. Eldorado is set to read a number of benefits which include inheriting up to five tribal gaming management deals. When the merger is officially completed in 2020, Eldorado which managed zero tribal casinos will suddenly be in charge of five tribal casinos.
The fact that Eldorado will be inheriting multiple tribal casino management deals come as no surprise since Caesars is the largest operator of tribal casinos in the US.
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This huge merge will cause both companies to make multiple changes in the coming months. Caesars which set its sights on entering the lucrative Japanese market has since abandoned those plans. Eldorado will be made changes to its policies that involve selling a couple of Caesars-owned casino resorts in Las Vegas as well as some regional casinos due to federal antitrust issues. While both companies have been public about this information, Eldorado has been quiet about the Indian gaming contracts.
Many expect these tribal casino management contracts to stay in place. According to the merger documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several tribal gaming authorities, as well as the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) will be required to sign off on the merger deal. One reason why Eldorado has been silent on this issue is because they still need to get the approval of the tribes.
In a statement, Hilary Tompkins, an attorney specializing in tribal gaming matters, said
NIGC approval would be needed if the tribe and new management company seek any amendments to the management contract. In addition, NIGC approval is needed for any assignment of a management contract to a new entity. And of course, per the NIGC regulations, the tribe will conduct background investigations on any new primary management officials and key employees.
Tribes Not Willing To Comment
Tribal representatives were also quiet on the Eldorado-Caesars transaction. According to a spokesman for the Cherokees, a “blackout period” is in effect on discussing the merger. Caesars has many contracts with the tribes, thanks to its Harrah’s ownership. For example, its oldest contract is with the Ak-Chin Indian Community. Harrah’s Ak-Chin opened in 1994 and it has expanded into a major casino resort in the downtown Phoenix area.
Though representatives of the Ak-Chin tribe are quiet, the Eldorado-Caesars merger will still need state certification and a background check on new personnel by the Arizona Department of Gaming, the agency that regulates most of Arizona’s gaming.
Other tribes across the country have also remained quiet, though state authorities across the country are prepping for the upcoming merger next year.