The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) unanimously agreed on Monday to allow Caesars Entertainment Inc. one extra year to sell its Horseshoe Hammond Casino. The new deadline is December 31, 2021.
The commissioners agreed with IGC executive director Sara Tait that selling the casino in the current climate involves unique challenges. These include uncertainty about gambling expansion in neighboring Illinois, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the US land-based casino sector.
in the best interest of the state and local community”
Tait believes that “granting relief regarding divestiture is in the best interest of the state and local community.” She does not think that there will be a negative impact on the property’s operations as a result of this one-year extension.
Reasons for selling
In July, the IGC told Caesars to sell three of its five casinos in the state by the end of 2020. The Commission issued this order to avoid “undue economic concentration” in the Indiana gaming industry after Eldorado Resorts Inc. acquired Caesars Entertainment Corporation in a $17.3bn deal.
The merged company already sold the Tropicana Casino in Evansville in October for $480m to Bally’s Corporation. The company is also now in negotiations to sell Caesars Southern Indiana Casino in Elizabeth to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by December 31.
This leaves the Horseshoe Hammond Casino as the final necessary sale. Caesars plans to hold onto the Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park horse track casinos in suburban Indianapolis.
Similar conditions elsewhere
In order to get regulatory approval for the merger, Caesars has also been selling casinos in other states. There were some delays because of the pandemic, as casinos around the country endured extended shutdowns.
Bally’s Corporation (formerly Twin River Worldwide Holdings) agreed to buy the Montbleu Resort Casino in Nevada and the Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana. Maverick Gaming was originally to buy these properties but pulled out of the deal.
While Maverick Gaming was set to pay $230m for the two properties, Bally’s Corporation bought them in an all-cash deal for $155m. Caesars also sold Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, the Capri Casino in Missouri, and the Lady Luck Casino in Mississippi to Bally’s Corporation.