Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment merged into one, last summer. However, the problems started in Indiana. Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) was concerned about too much Caesars’s presence in the state.
The State agreed to sign the deal provided the operator put up a couple of gaming properties for sale. Horseshoe Hammond was identified as one such property, and the search of the owner continued, but to no avail. Caesars has now successfully convinced IGC to give an extension to find a buyer.
IGC gave the green light under the condition that three properties need to be sold, or the state would rescind the approval. Caesars wanted to sell just two, but regulators were not ready to entertain. After reluctantly agreed to the deal, Caesars started taking action.
The operator has already turned over Tropicana Evansville to Twin River Worldwide Holdings. It has now been renamed Bally’s. It is already gearing up to sell the Caesars Southern Indiana to the Eastern bank of Cherokee Indians. However, the current COVID19 pandemic is not helping the sale of Horseshoe Hammond.
Previously, IGC gave a timeline till the end of 2020 for the handover for Horseshoe, but that has now been extended to the end of 2021. The sale of the first two properties was not big in size, and also there was no cash involved.
But Horseshoe is the biggest casino in Indiana and has 2235 gaming machines and tables. It can accommodate 1105 gamblers. Last financial year, it reported revenue of $309.3mn.
Caesars also pointed out that the sudden expansion of casinos in Chicago has dented the attractiveness of Horseshoe Hammond as well.
IGC however unanimously accepted the request to grant an extension of the timeline.