Eldorado Resorts has been cleared to complete its long pending acquisition of fellow casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corporation after securing its final regulatory approval from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

The $17.3bn cash and stock transaction is to see Eldorado acquire Caesars to create the largest casino operator in the US, providing access to more than 50 domestic casino–resorts and gaming facilities across 16 US states, with a selection of international properties, including that of Caesars’ UK-based entities, also affected.

Approval in the Garden State is said to have been rubber stamped after an antitrust analyst assured the Commission that the transaction would not place too many Atlantic City properties into the hands of one organisation.

The deal will see Eldorado add Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino and Harrah’s Resort to the Tropicana entity that already stands in its portfolio, with Bally’s to be divested as part of a prior agreement with Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

The multifaceted agreement will see the operator firstly acquire Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for $155m from Eldorado, as well as Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino for $25m from Caesars, who will receive $6m, and Vici Properties gaining the remaining $19m.   

Furthermore, of the numerous conditions imposed when issuing the green-light is one to ensure that $400m in investments in the remaining three properties if made over the course of the next three years.

Securing the final regulatory approval follows the Federal Trade Commission accepting a proposed consent order, which concluded the FTC’s Hart-Scott-Rodino review of the pending merger. 

The FTC’s acceptance of the consent order satisfied all required antitrust clearances for the merger, one facet of which required the sale of certain properties to avoid anti-competitive situations arising in certain regions. 

This was subsequently followed by acceptance by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission in the Silver State, as well as the Indiana Gaming Commission and Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

Lauding the increased scale and geographic diversification, approximately $500m of synergies are expected to be felt in the first year. Set to utilise the “iconic, global brand” of Caesars, the enlarged entity will be comprised of 11 board members – six of which will join from Eldorado.