Caesars Entertainment has completed the previously announced sale of Caesars Southern Indiana operations to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, confirmed the casino-entertainment company last Friday.
The deal was secured by both parties for approximately $250 million. According to Caesars, in connection with this transaction, its annual base rent payments to VICI Properties under the Regional Master Lease will be reduced by $32.5 million.
“I want to thank the Team Members of Southern Indiana for all of their hard work and wish them continued success under their new leadership,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., upon the completion announcement.
Moreover, effective as of Friday, Caesars and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI Holdings) will extend their existing relationship by entering into a long-term agreement for the continued use of the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program at Caesars Southern Indiana.
“We knew that Caesars Southern Indiana has a special legacy of excellence which initially drew us to the casino,” said R. Scott Barber, chairman of EBCI Holdings once the transaction was finalized. “As we’ve discovered, Caesars Southern Indiana also employs and excellent workforce and has made meaningful investments in the community over the last two decades.”
The transaction was cleared in a Indiana Gaming Commission meeting August 18. Caesars was set to sell the property as a condition set following its combination with Eldorado Resorts, and an agreement with the tribe was reached in December 2020.
The company was required to reduce portfolio as the IGC believed that allowing a single operator to run five Indiana casinos, which together generated nearly 60% of the $590.8 million gaming taxes paid to the state during the 2019 budget year, signaled “undue economic concentration.”
For the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the deal marks its first ownership of a gaming unit outside of North Carolina, where it owns two gambling venues operated by Caesars as part of a long-standing partnership.
Caesars Southern Indiana is a $90 million land-based casino since 2019, previously known as Horseshoe Southern Indiana. When it launched, it did so as a boat on the Ohio River, in 1998. The complex includes over 100,000 square feet of gaming space, a sports betting lounge and restaurants. The venue counts with nearly 1,200 slots, including video reels and traditional slot machines; and table games including blackjack, roulette, craps, and mini baccarat.
Further amenities and space include a hotel, a pavilion, a showroom, two parking decks, and a golf course. The deal’s closure also sees EBCI entering a triple-net lease agreement with VICI Properties with respect to the real property associated with Caesars Southern Indiana. EBCI will pay an initial rent of $32.5 million a year for in initial term of 15 years, with four 5-year extension options.