Caesars Atlantic City

As part of a lengthy list of conditions imposed by state gaming regulators for approval of the $17.3 billion acquisition of the former Caesars Entertainment Corp. by Eldorado Resorts Inc., the newly formed casino company plans to spend a minimum of $150 million in hotel renovations, gaming upgrades and new food and entertainment offerings at Caesars Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY — Although Caesars Entertainment Corp. is still waiting for state gaming regulators to sign off on a proposed merger with Eldorado Resorts Inc., the company’s top regional executive was approved for a casino license Wednesday morning.

Ronald Baumann was granted an initial casino key employee license and deemed qualified by the Casino Control Commission to serve as regional president and CEO of Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

“It is both a privilege and an honor to be granted and to hold a gaming license in the state of New Jersey, and I want to thank both the commission and the (Division of Gaming Enforcement) for granting my key license today," Baumann said in a statement. "I am looking forward to safely reopening and operating our facilities with our health and wellness protocols for our team and guests."

Baumann is an industry veteran who previously worked as a senior executive at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack. He returned to Atlantic City in 2019, where he previously held several leadership positions with Caesars Entertainment.

The commission granted Baumann temporary qualification in October, shortly after Eldorado and Caesars petitioned New Jersey gaming regulators to approve a $17.3 billion merger.

The deal between the gaming companies has been approved in more than a dozen states, but federal regulators, along with New Jersey, Nevada and Indiana, are still reviewing the proposal.

New Jersey gaming regulators had been analyzing whether the deal would have created an undue economic concentration, since the initial merger proposal would have given the newly formed company control of four of Atlantic City’s nine casinos.

In April, Caesars and its real estate investment trust, VICI Properties, announced the sale of Bally’s to Rhode Island-based Twin River Holdings Worldwide for $25 million. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Bally’s, which first opened in 1979, will continue to be part of the Caesars Rewards network until the deal is finalized.

The Wild Wild West Casino and The Book sports wagering facility currently inside Bally’s will be shifted over to Caesars Atlantic City.

Twin River will obtain a license to “build out a sportsbook” in addition to launching online sports betting and internet casino gaming, the company said in a news release.

Atlantic City’s casinos have been closed since March 16. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the city’s gambling parlors closed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Wednesday’s Casino Control Commission meeting was streamed online due to COVID-19.

Contact: 609-272-7222

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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