Represented by Newark's Saiber Schlesinger Satz & Goldstein, LLC, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. has obtained New Jersey regulatory approval of its $9.3 billion acquisition of Caesar's Entertainment, Inc. to become the world's largest gaming company.
On May 24, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission formally approved the merger. Harrah's will now own four casinos in Atlantic City. William F. Maderer and Jeremy P. Kleiman, partners at Saiber Schlesinger, represented Harrah's at the contested hearing before the Commission.
The Casino Control Act requires the Commission to conduct a hearing to determine whether the acquisition of additional casino licenses by an existing operator will result in undue economic concentration in Atlantic City casino operations. The analysis employed by the Commission is similar to the analysis employed by federal antitrust regulators.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement did not oppose the merger, but argued that approval of the merger should be conditioned upon certain boundary conditions that would restrict Harrah's ability to further expand its operations in Atlantic City. At the hearing, both Harrah's and the Division presented economists as expert witnesses to explain to the Commission how the merger will affect competition in Atlantic City, and whether the boundary conditions proposed by the Division are necessary to maintain a competitive environment among the casinos.
In approving the merger, the Commission rejected the suggestion that boundary conditions should be imposed, finding that the industry's recent investment in non-casino amenities and the addition of hotel rooms reinforces the belief that competition in the Atlantic City casino market is vibrant.
Saiber Schlesinger recently welcomed Ed Nordlinger, former SEC Deputy Director, to the firm as Of Counsel. Mr. Nordlinger will concentrate his practice in securities investigations, securities litigation, and regulatory and enforcement matters. He was employed in various capacities with the SEC throughout his career, including Staff Attorney and Acting Regional Director for the Northeast, the largest region in the SEC.Most recently, he was Deputy Regional Director for the SEC's Northeast Region.