3 Indiana Casinos Will Be Sold After Eldorado-Caesars Merger Gets Finalized
The merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment was finalized earlier this week after a long drawn out process. The merger involves the sale of three casinos located in Indiana: the Tropicana Evansville, the Horseshoe Hammond, and the Caesars Southern Indiana in Elizabeth.
The casinos need to be sold as part of a divestment agreement. Indiana regulators required the divestment for the merged company to operate within the state. The deal garnered the approval of the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) on July 10. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) quickly followed suit on July 13.
Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment Inc. said the merged company has set its sights on becoming the clear frontrunner when it comes to the gaming and hospitality industries. The merged company will have operations in 16 states. The merged company will keep the Caesars name to leverage its wide appeal to punters.
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Racinos – Key Point for Indiana Regulators
The licenses from Indiana’s two horse racing tracks with casinos or “racinos” as they are termed are set to be transferred from Caesars to Eldorado. The two racinos are Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park.
Indiana officials were worried that Eldorado was not fully committed to its horse racing tracks, citing its other racetracks as run down and dilapidated. However, the larger concern for regulators is that the merged company would have more than half the gaming revenues of Indiana if they retained control of the state’s casinos.
The Horseshoe Hammond is the state’s top casino and is a popular gaming destination in the Midwest due to its central location near downtown Chicago. Reeg had initially indicated that they planned to keep the Hammond location, but ultimately accepted the Indiana regulators’ requirement to sell.
Eldorado Makes Concessions For Indiana Regulators
A number of gaming analysts and observers expect the sales of the casinos to be complicated due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Indiana regulators noted that they want the sales to be done quickly, in order for the casinos’ employees to start working again.
In order to overcome Indiana regulators’ concerns about Eldorado’s track record, the company’s leaders promised hands on management that would ensure the casinos’ success in the state. Eldorado also stated that they would be giving their local leadership teams more autonomy to make decisions on the ground.