Report: Las Vegas' Two Poker Powerhouse Casino Brands Considering Merger –

Could MGM Resorts International (MGM) and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) team up to own half of the Las Vegas Strip? According to a report from the New York Post, it’s possible.

MGM has reportedly brought investment bank Morgan Stanley and law firm Weil, Gotshal, and Manges on board to explore the idea of a merger. No offer has been made, however hedge fund Canyon Partners, which has a sizable stake in both companies, is pushing for a deal to get done.

Caesars CEO Mark Frissora announced last week that he would be stepping down this February. The company has seen it’s stock fall about 25 percent since emerging from bankruptcy last October.

The news of the potential merger comes just days after a report that Caesars had declined a different offer from Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s Golden Nugget company.

Caesars currently owns 49 casino properties, most of which are in the U.S. and nine of which are on or near the Las Vegas Strip. In addition to considerable interests in Macau, MGM also operates nine casinos on the Strip, and has a big stake in the T-Mobile Arena.

So what would this merger mean for poker?

Rumors have been circling for quite some time about the World Series of Poker leaving the Rio, which is located just west of the Strip. Most recently, it was reported that Caesars may be looking to unload the property to make room for a new Major League Baseball franchise and stadium.

While some Caesars properties are home to big series such as the WSOP Circuit, MGM often plays host to World Poker Tour events.

Outside of the peak times during the summer series, Caesars has roughly 68 poker tables in Las Vegas. MGM operates about 103. A merger would give the company nearly 52 percent

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