Caesars Finalizes Sale of Southern Indiana Casino

Casino operator Caesars Entertainment, Inc. last week closed the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana to EBCI Holdings, a gaming and hospitality company managed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The deal has paved the way for EBCI to enter the Hoosier State’s casino industry. The company owns two gambling venues in North Carolina. Тhey are both operated by Caesars.

The Nevada-based casino powerhouse announced that it would sell Caesars Southern Indiana to the tribal entity in late 2020, just days before an Indiana Gaming Commission-imposed deadline for the company to find a buyer for the property.

The state gaming regulator ordered Caesars to secure the sale of three of its properties in Indiana by the end of 2020 as part of the approval process of the company’s $17.3 billion tie-up with Eldorado Resorts.

The operator finalized the sale of Tropicana Evansville to Bally’s Corp. earlier this year. In June, the Gaming Commission allowed Caesars to retain ownership of its Horseshoe Hammond venue, the third gambling establishment it was told to sell.

EBCI agreed to pay $250 million for Caesars Southern Indiana. The deal was finalized on Friday, shortly after the Gaming Commission gave the necessary regulatory approval for the transaction to proceed.

A Special Legacy of Excellence

Commenting on adding the Southern Indiana property to their portfolio of casinos, EBCI Holdings CEO R. Scott Barber said that the property “has a special legacy of excellence which initially drew us to the casino” and that it also “employs an excellent workforce and has made meaningful investments in the community over the last two decades.”

With the deal’s closure, EBCI has also entered into a triple-net lease agreement with a VICI Properties subsidiary with respect to the real estate assets associated with the casino. Under the terms of that agreement, EBCI is set to pay an initial rent of $32.5 million a year for an initial term of 15 years, with four five-year extension options.

Caesars Southern Indiana was originally launched in 1998 as a riverboat casino operating as Horseshoe Southern Indiana.

In 2019, Caesars relocated the facility on adjacent dry land as part of a $90 million relocation and expansion project. It was at that point when the casino was rebranded as Caesars Southern Indiana. The property will retain its name under the new ownership and will also remain part of Caesars Rewards, the casino operator’s loyalty program.

Following the deal’s closure, Caesars Southern Indiana General Manager Brad Seigel said that they have “built an outstanding team here and we are proud of the investment Caesars has made not only in its employees but also in our community.”

Mr. Seigel also added that he is eager to enter this new chapter in the casino’s history with “the same dedicated and friendly staff alongside me.”

Source: Caesars Southern Indiana casino officially under new ownership after closing of $250M deal, The Courier-Journal, September 3, 2021

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