Indiana casino sold for $250m

By William Brown Updated
Indiana casino sold for $250m

Casino operator Caesars Entertainment has reached an agreement to sell an Indiana casino for $250 million.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Caesars has agreed to sell Caesars Southern Indiana to the North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Caesars announced the sale agreement last Thursday, ahead of the company’s December 31 deadline to divest from the casino operation, located in the Harrison County town of Elizabeth, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.

The agreement is an expansion of an existing partnership between the company and the EBCI.

At the closing of the deal, EBCI will enter into a new lease with VICI Properties, with annual payments of $32.5 million.

The 20-year-old casino retired its three-floor riverboat in late 2019 and moved into a new, $85 million land-based building that offers 100,000 square feet of gambling space, including slot machines, table games and poker, with room for dining and entertainment.

After it was acquired through a public merger with Eldorado Resorts, Caesars was ordered by the Indiana Gaming Commission to sell three of its five casinos in the state.

Along with the Elizabeth casino, Caesars chose to sell its Evansville and Hammond properties.

Eldorado’s acquisition of Caesars is finalised

Eldorado, which started with a single hotel-casino in Reno in 1973 announced on Monday that it has completed a $17.3 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment and will take the iconic company’s name going forward as the largest casino owner in the world.

Houma Today reported in July that Eldorado said the combined company will now own and operate more than 55 casino properties in 16 states across the US, including eight resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger,” former chief executive officer of Eldorado Resorts and now chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment Tom Reeg said.

Mr Reeg promised to welcome the combined company’s tens of thousands of employees and to create value for stakeholders using “strategic initiatives that will position the company for continued growth.”

The buyout also affects Caesars properties in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Dubai and a golf course in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

The company vaulted over MGM Resorts International as the world’s largest casino operation.

Trading under the Caesars stock symbol, CZR, will begin Tuesday, said Anthony Carano, company president and chief operating officer.

“We’re excited as a company and a family to lead such an iconic gambling company with 80,000 team members all over the country,” Mr Carano said.

The company plans to shed several properties to satisfy antitrust concerns raised before approvals were granted by the Federal Trade Commission and regulators in Indiana and New Jersey.

In Nevada, executives have said they may sell at least one Las Vegas Strip property.

Mr Carano acknowledged the combined company now carries $13 billion in debt and has billions in additional obligations to VICI Properties and another real estate investment trust, Gaming and Leisure Properties.

He said that the company was “in a great financial position as Caesars going forward from here” and will reduce debt.

Properties outside the US will likely be sold, he said.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the deal Friday, after the combined company announced plans to sell Bally’s Atlantic City.

That will leave Caesars Entertainment with three of nine casinos in Atlantic City: Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana.

Executives promised federal regulators the company will sell sites in Kansas City, Missouri; South Lake Tahoe; California; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

Mr Reeg told Indiana regulators that casinos in Evansville and Elizabeth would likely be sold, with a sale of a casino in Hammond possible.

In Las Vegas, the combined company now owns Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s Las Vegas, the Flamingo, Linq Hotel, Cromwell, Bally’s and the Rio off the Strip.

It will be one of the largest employers in Nevada.

Eldorado founder Dan Carano and his family developed a winemaking and casino empire that grew into 26 gambling properties and more than 18,000 employees in 12 states before the buyout.

Carano died in 2017, with his grandson Anthony now involved in company affairs. 

New Jersey regulators consider Eldorado and Caesar’s sale proposal 

Gambling regulators in New Jersey have begun to consider a proposal from Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts to buy Caesars Entertainment, in a sweeping $17.3 billion deal affecting four of nine casino properties in Atlantic City.

Houma Today reports that approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission could come Thursday, and would be the final hurdle in Eldorado’s bid to become what Commissioner Alisa Cooper called ‘the biggest gaming company in the world’.

The casino giant would control 52 properties in 16 American states under the Caesars Entertainment brand.

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