aesars Entertainment officials announced the sale agreement for Caesars Southern Indiana on Thursday 24 ahead of the company's Dec. 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 Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, or the EBCI, The News and Tribun e reported.
At the closing of the deal, EBCI will enter into a new lease with VICI Properties Inc. 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 (9,290-square-meters) of gambling space, including slot machines, table games, and poker, and room for dining and entertainment.
"Expanding our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is an exciting event for Caesars Entertainment," said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. "Since our partnership began back in 1996, we have admired their growth and the success of their properties. We look forward to increasing our relationship by extending the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program to them at Caesars Southern Indiana."
"The purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana operating company marks the beginning of an exciting new future for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians," said Richard Sneed, Principal Chief Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. "We are pleased to build upon our long-standing partnership with Caesars as we look to advance our interests in commercial gaming in the coming years."
After it was acquired through a public merger with Eldorado Resorts Inc., 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.