by NICOLE ZANDER
Reno-based Eldorado Resorts LLC announced last week that the family-owned business will be going public after entering a definitive merger agreement with MTR Gaming Group, Inc., a company operating casinos in three eastern states. Gary Carano, general manager of Silver Legacy Resort Casino, has been named CEO of the new company, Eldorado Resorts Inc.
“The opportunity to grow has been a goal for the Carano family for many years,” Carano said. “We are all extremely happy and excited for this transaction.”
The company’s growth means the employees of the once heavily-in-debt Silver Legacy will now have job security; the casino, which spent five months in a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just a year ago, will now be backed by a solid number of casinos across the nation.
“I was never too worried, I knew they would figure something out and keep business running,” Nick Abe, Silver Legacy employee, said. “But it does make me feel safer knowing there is that cushion.”
Currently operating three companies across two states, Eldorado Resorts will expand out east with six new properties in Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. After the transaction is completed, its employees will be given first priority for job opportunities in the newly-attained locations.
“We would rather hire from within,” Carano said. “We have always been that way.”
Before the deal can be finalized, MTR Gaming must first hold a shareholder vote. Carano said that stakeholders expect the transaction to be completed in the first or second quarter of 2014. But Reno casino-goers shouldn’t expect changes any time soon; Carano said in regards to the two Reno properties, it is business as usual for the foreseeable future.
“After we are a public company—after we prove ourselves to shareholders that we are successful operators, which we have a good track record of doing—it could mean putting more money into our current Reno properties,” he said.
Glen Carano will take over Silver Legacy’s general manager position once Carano becomes acting CEO of the new company. The headquarters of the newly merged company will be inside the Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno. Carano said MGM Resorts International, who owns 50 percent of Silver Legacy, are in full support of the merger.
“The only thing that is changing is that Eldorado is becoming a bigger company, and is going public,” he said.