Eldorado Resorts has received the interim authority to own and operate the Tropicana Atlantic City. The casino operator received the thumbs-up from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission on Sept. 12.
The decision comes as part of Eldorado’s $1.85 billion purchase of Carl Icahn’s Tropicana Entertainment. The company agreed to purchase the casino mogul’s properties (excluding the Aruba interests) as part of a joint venture with Gaming and Leisure Properties, a large real estate investment trust.
Technically, GLP is purchasing the properties and leasing them to Eldorado. Nonetheless, the purchase will expand Eldorado’s portfolio to 28 casinos in 13 states.
Eldorado has mixed it up in the last two years
The approval is the latest development in a very busy two-year period for Eldorado Resorts. The casino company has already committed billions of dollars to various acquisitions that have swelled the company’s portfolio immensely.
Eldorado made waves in May 2017 when it purchased the Isle of Capri chain of casino hotels. The $1.1 billion cash-and-stock deal almost tripled the company’s list of properties.
The deal also created a company with revenue in excess of $1.7 billion. From that purchase, Eldorado marched towards its next targets.
Obviously, the Tropicana deal was another coup. Eldorado managed to snatch one of the iconic brands in the gaming industry.
However, almost concurrent to the Trop deal, Eldorado also purchased the Grand Victoria Casino in Illinois. The company paid MGM Resorts $327.5 million for the Elgin property.
It hasn’t all been incoming at Eldorado, however. The company is still closing out a deal to sell its Presque Isle Downs Casino to Churchill Downs.
That deal used to include the Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg. Churchill Downs has since pulled out of that portion of the agreement but remains interested in the Erie, Pennsylvania-based Presque Isle.
Everything points to sports betting at Tropicana soon
With this clearance from the CCC, Eldorado is free to move forward with its plans in New Jersey. If its other moves are any indication, those plans involve bringing sports betting to the Tropicana as soon as possible.
Eldorado managed to secure a strategic partnership with a sports betting provider last week. The William Hill US partnership seals a critical hole in Eldorado’s skill set and frees the company to move forward into the nascent, but rapidly expanding, NJ sports betting market.
The very next day, the Tropicana Atlantic City itself reached a separate deal with William Hill. No doubt the Trop has seen its fellow Boardwalk competitors finding great success in that department and doesn’t want to get left behind.
With the NFL season underway, the time to strike is now. Thankfully, given William Hill’s extensive sportsbook experience, it may not take long for sports betting to show up at Tropicana.