Caesars-Eldorado Merger Could Have Major Impact On Sportsbooks Across US

Posted By Marc Meltzer on June 25, 2019 - Last Updated on October 23, 2019
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On Monday, Eldorado Resorts announced that will purchase Caesars Entertainment and the two companies will merge. Once approved, the company will keep the Caesars name and will become the largest casino owner and operator in the US with around 60 properties in 14 states.

The deal between the two companies is expected to close sometime in the first half of the year in 2020. There are a lot of moving parts in this deal with sports betting being a major part. Both companies will continue to exist as they are for the time being but there could be significant changes in the future.

William Hill and Eldorado Resorts

In 2018, Eldorado Resorts announced a deal that made William Hill its sportsbook operator for 25 years at its casinos where sports betting is legal. William Hill currently operates the sportsbooks in the following Eldorado casinos:

  • Circus Circus (Reno, NV)
  • Eldorado (Reno, NV)
  • Montbleu (Lake Taho, NV)
  • Mountaineer Casino (Cumberland, WV)
  • Silver Legacy (Reno, NV)
  • Tropicana (Atlantic City, NJ)
  • Tropicana (Laughlin, NV)

The number of Eldorado casinos being able to take sports bets will grow when casinos in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa are allowed to take sports bets.

The relationship between Eldorado and William Hill is even deeper because Eldorado also announced that it owns 20% of William Hill. When the merger is complete, the new Caesars will have about 60 casinos in 14 states.

Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg didn’t get into specifics about who will operate the Caesars sportsbooks in the future. He did say that he sees Eldorado’s sports betting partnerships working well with Caesars Entertainments team, league, and media partnerships.

It’s too early to say how this will impact sports bettors. However, Eldorado is looking to cut $500 million in expenses. It could look at having William Hill operate all sportsbooks as one way to reduce expenses since a) Caesars sportsbooks would duplicate William Hill and b) It owns part of William Hill already.

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The Stars Group and Eldorado Resorts

Together the new Caesars will have to combine a lot of sports and sports betting deals. In addition to the William Hill deal, Eldorado has an agreement with The Stars Group. TSG has the option to operate online betting and gaming in the states where Eldorado currently or in the future owns or operates land-based casinos.

In another deal, The Stars Group will be the betting platform for Fox when it launches FOX Bet later this year. It’s unclear how this deal will work when the merger is complete.

Caesars Entertainment Media Deals

Reeg loves the combination of Eldorado’s existing sports betting deals and Caesars Entertainment’s deals with the media, teams, and leagues. This reference is no doubt tied to the promotion Caesars receives from ESPN and Turner Sports/Bleacher Report.

Caesars is the first casino operator to partner with the NFL. Eldorado customers will now have access to the same NFL promotions and experiences that were only available to Caesars customers during the Super Bowl earlier this year.

Additionally, Caesars has deals with a variety of professional sports teams. It was the first founding partner with the soon to be Las Vegas Raiders. Caesars also has deals with the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL, Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and New Jersey Devils of the NHL.

Meanwhile, William Hill has deals with the New Jersey Devils, Vegas Golden Knights, and NHL. The Stars Group has a deal with the NBA.

Altogether, there’s a whole lot of promotion in the world of sports that can take place for even more Caesars casinos when this merger is complete.

Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings

Lastly, Caesars and DraftKings have a partnership that hasn’t resulted in much yet. The deal gives DraftKings access to online sports betting in states where Caesars has land-based casinos.

This sounds similar to the Eldorado deal with The Stars Group. Much like everything else, the future of this deal is up in the air.

Future impact on sports bettors

This is a huge merger of two of the largest US casino operators. Every customer will be affected differently. Sports bettors may or may not be betting with William Hill sportsbooks at all Eldorado and Caesars casinos next year. William Hill says that it expects to operate some Caesars sportsbooks in the future.

Mobile betting could also change for customers of both casinos. Eldorado customers will have access to new experiences and deals through Caesars Rewards next year. There are a lot of moving parts to this deal, and sports is in the front of the line.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer 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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