Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. has agreed to sell its Caesars Southern Indiana casino to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) for $ 250 million, it became known Thursday.
The Southern Indiana property will be sold to the tribal operation one year after Caesars completed its $ 90 million renovation and expansion.
Caesars Southern Indiana is the second Caesars property in Hoosier State that the company agreed to sell this year. The casino giant announced in October that it had signed an agreement to transfer Tropicana Evansville to Bally’s Corporation. That deal is expected to close in mid-2021.
Shrinking its portfolio of Indiana properties was one of the conditions under which the state Gaming Commission gave in July his approval for the $ 17.3 billion Caesars merger with the casino operator Eldorado Resorts.
The game regulator ordered Caesars sell three of their casinos in Indiana before the end of the year to avoid an “undue economic concentration” of the state’s gaming industry following its link to Eldorado.
Late last month, the Indiana Gaming Commission gave the casino operator an additional year to find a buyer for the third property it intends to sell, Horseshoe Hammond.
Caesars Southern Indiana Sale
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians did not emerge as a surprise buyer from Southern Indiana casino. Tribal leaders drafted a letter of intent last month to express interest in purchasing the recently expanded hotel-casino complex.
Under the terms of that letter, Caesars was supposed to work exclusively with the Tribal Council for 45 days from the date the casino operator signed the letter. By signing it, the company also agreed not to “receive offers from other potential buyers.”
As mentioned above, EBCI will pay $ 250 million for Caesars Southern Indiana. The property will maintain its name and Caesars brand and will continue to be part of the Caesars Rewards loyalty program. That has been made possible through a new annual lease that EBCI signed with VICI Properties, which owns the land on which Caesars Southern Indiana is located.
Under the terms of that new agreement, EBCI will pay VICI annual rental payments of $ 32.5 million. As a result of the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana, Caesars’ annual payments to VICI under a regional master lease between the two companies will be reduced by $ 32.5 million.
Commenting on the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said they are excited to expand a longstanding relationship with the tribe and that since they originally joined in 1996, have admired their growth and the success of their properties.
Richard Sneed, EBCI Principal Director, said they are pleased to continue to build on their long-standing partnership with the Las Vegas casino giant as they “seek advance our interest in commercial games in the next years.”