The Indiana Gaming Commission approved Wednesday, August 18 the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana casino to ECBI Holdings, a company run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribe.
Now cleared, the deal is expected to close at some point in the upcoming month. In December 2020, Caesars agreed to sell the casino to EBCI for $250 million.
Caesars Entertainment had to reach an agreement to sell the casino, a condition set by the Indiana Gaming Commission, as a result of its $17.3 billion combination with Eldorado Resorts.
Caesars 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 in gaming taxes paid to the state during the 2019 budget year signaled “undue economic concentration.”
The tribe’s gaming unit will assume ownership of the Southern Indiana casino once the transaction is complete and marks a first for EBCI Holdings outside of North Carolina, where it owns two gambling venues operated by Caesars as part of a long-standing partnership.
“We are delighted to move forward with Caesars and expand our already successful portfolio,” said R. Scott Barber, CEO of ECBI Holdings, in a statement.
“Not only is it a beautiful, recently renovated property, but Caesars is also a storied brand in the southern Indiana community,” further added Barber. “We’re honored to carry on that legacy as we continue to elevate Caesars’ world-class guest experience.”
According to a press release, the Caesars’ branding for the casino will continue once it changes hands and the about 900 current employees will have the opportunity to retain their positions, reports Courier Journal.
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 several restaurants. Other amenities include a hotel, a pavilion, a showroom, two parking decks, and a golf course. The casino counts with nearly 1,200 slots including video reels and traditional slot machines; also table games including blackjack, roulette, craps, mini baccarat
The deal’s closure will also see 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.