Iowa gaming regulators approve Eldorado-Caesars $17.3 billion merger Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · February 5, 2020 at 5:49 am Iowa’s Racing and Gaming Commission signed off on the $17.3 billion merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment Tuesday, marking the fourth state to approve the transaction. The deal requires approvals by regulatory agencies in 18 states and a sign-off by the Federal Trade Commission. Reno-based Eldorado’s management team will oversee the combined company. In Iowa, Caesars operates Harrah’s Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Eldorado operates the Isle Casino Bettendorf and Isle Casino Waterloo. In a statement, Eldorado said it hopes to close the deal by the end of June. In November, Shareholders from Eldorado and Caesars overwhelmingly voted in favor of the gaming companies’ merger. Under terms of the agreement, Eldorado will pay $8.40 per share in cash and 0.0899 shares of Eldorado stock for each Caesars share, or $12.75 per share. The combined business will be called Caesars and its shares will be traded on the Nasdaq. Once the deal closes, the combined company, which will be renamed Caesars, will be governed by a new 11-person board of directors. Eldorado is providing six of its current board members to the combined company: Chairman Gary Carano, Reeg – who will be CEO of the new company – David Tomick, Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., Michael Pegram and Bonnie Biumi. Current Caesars directors Keith Cozza, Jan Jones Blackhurst, Don Kornstein, Courtney Mather and James Nelson will be part of the new board. Cozza, Mather and Nelson were appointed to the Caesars board in 2019 by corporate raider Carl Icahn, who controls more than 17 percent of the current Caesars. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.