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Tropicana Evansville to become part of Eldorado Resorts

Bloomberg reports Carl Icahn's company has struck an approximately $1.85 billion deal that would fuse the gaming and hotel operations of Tropicana Entertainment to Eldorado Resorts Inc., including the Evansville casino.

The agreement was announced early Monday, but it doesn't include Tropicana's Aruba assets.

It's unclear if anything will change on the inside or outside of Tropicana Evansville, but city leaders are confident nothing will.

The sale is expected to close in the second half of the year and will need approval from gaming officials.

“This casino is very profitable for the company and that is good news for the city of Evansville,” says Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. He learned about the deal Monday, as most of the Tri-State did too.

“Based on my knowledge of the situation, having talked to John Chaszar, the general manager of Tropicana, I’m confident there won't be any significant changes in the relationship between the city and casino,” says Winnecke.

Eldorado Resorts is teamed with Gaming and Leisure Properties to consolidate the gaming industry. The new ownership will operate under a Real Estate Investment Trust. It allows a company to avoid paying federal income tax; instead passing earnings directly to shareholders.

Winnecke doesn't expect any negative impacts for the city, which reels in about $12 million annually from taxes.

Officials with Tropicana Evansville couldn't say how day-to-day operations will change, if employees will lose their jobs, or if the big green letters will come down off the building.

Tropicana officials in New Jersey did not return a call from Eyewitness News.

Eldorado has 20 other casinos across the country but only three bear the name.

According to the Associated Press, Eldorado Resorts is acquiring the operating assets of seven casinos in six states, including two in Nevada - the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino and the MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa in South Lake Tahoe - as well as casinos in Indiana (Tropicana Evansville); Louisiana (Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel); Mississippi (Trop Casino Greenville); Missouri (Lumière Place); and New Jersey (Tropicana Casino and Resort, Atlantic City).

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(This story was originally published on April 16, 2018)

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