FTC gives Harrah’s green light to buy Harveys | TahoeDailyTribune.com

FTC gives Harrah’s green light to buy Harveys

The Federal Trade Commission reportedly gave Harrah’s Entertainment approval Friday to continue with its proposed acquisition of former Stateline competitor Harveys Casino Resorts, the Las Vegas-based casino company announced that morning.

After repeated attempts Friday, the FTC’sWashington, D.C. public relations office could not confirm the announcement that claims the commission has “terminated the waiting period.”

The federal agency delayed the $675 million sale with cash and liabilities as it requested additional information in June in order to take a closer look at the deal.

Though optimistic the deal will close in this quarter as planned, Harrah’s Entertainment management is somewhat relieved the casino company is one step closer to finalizing the buyout.

Once approved, Harrah’s Entertainment will acquire Harveys Casino on the South Shore; Harveys Casino Hotel and the Bluffs Run Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Harveys Wagon Wheel Hotel/Casino in Central City, Colo.

Harvey Gross, with his wife Llewellyn, founded the Stateline casino in 1944 as a one-room log cabin featuring a saloon, cafe and casino.

To complete the historic merger, approvals are now required from the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board. Harrah’s has already received regulatory approvals from the states of Iowa and Colorado.

The control board in the Silver State will evaluate a number of criteria issues to grant the multiple

license to one entity.

Gaming control board Corporate Securities Division Chief Lou Dorn expects the proposed buy with make the control board’s agenda within a month. Dorn said he’s never known the board to turn down similar acquisitions.

Overall, the board will review factors relating to the continued competitiveness of the South Lake Tahoe casino marketplace, including incremental items ranging from the level of games to the number of employees, Dorn said from his Carson City office.

Therein, the board will consider the welfare of the state after consolidation efforts in such a venture, Dorn added. The decision couldn’t be soon enough for Harrah’s and Harveys management and employees, which have awaited the mandatory approvals to quell uncertainty and proceed with their lives and business at hand.

Once the deal goes through, Harrah’s spokesman Gary Thompson underscored the need for the casino conglomerate to concentrate on Lake Tahoe properties.

“We need to see more stimulation in Lake Tahoe. Business is off,” he said, referring to an earnings report released last week that shows a 3 percent drop in northern Nevada revenues.

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. currently manages 21 casinos and a combined database of more than 23 million players.

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