June 26, 2020 / 1:49 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Eldorado resorts must sell two casinos as part of Caesars merger -U.S. FTC

(Adds details about deal, settlement with FTC)

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - U.S. casino operator Eldorado Resorts Inc has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival Caesars Entertainment Corp on condition that it sell casinos in two cities to address antitrust concerns, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.

The deal, which was valued at $8.5 billion when it was announced in June 2019, came as Eldorado sought to expand to take on larger companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

Eldorado's acquisitions over the past few years include a $1.85 billion deal for Tropicana Entertainment in 2018 and a $1.7 billion deal for Isle of Capri Casinos in 2017.

Eldorado must sell its resort in the South Lake Tahoe area, as well as a second casino in the Bossier City-Shreveport area to Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc, the FTC said in a statement.

Eldorado had previously said that it would sell its Isle of Capri casino in Kansas City, Missouri. As part of the settlement with the FTC, it agreed that if that deal does not go through within 60 days of closing of the larger transaction, that the FTC may step in to require it be sold. (Reporting by Diane Bartz and Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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