Potential Buyer For Caesars Southern Indiana Comes Just In The Nick Of Time

Posted on November 18, 2020

Caesars Southern Indiana might have a new owner soon.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is looking into buying the property. It would mark the Tribe’s entrance into the Indiana gambling scene.

Tribal Council has approved a handful of financial measures to check out the casino.

“We’re not purchasing the property right now,” said Yellowhill Representative Tom Wahnetah. “This is just to do our due diligence to make sure that the property is everything they claim it is.”

Caesars Southern Indiana changing hands

EBCI isn’t buying the casino right this second, but it could complete the purchase in a matter of weeks.

Both sides of the deal have a signed letter of intent, which means that Caesars can’t entertain other offers for the property for at least 45 days. It shows that both sides are serious about the sale.

So why all the careful trotting around? Well these are uncharted waters for the Tribe.

EBCI owns other casinos, but all of them are on its own tribal lands. They’ve never bought out an existing casino before, so they want to take things slowly.

After all, building a casino on your own land is likely easier since you have a blank slate to work with.

According to Wolftown Rep. Chelsea Saunooke, having an order of operations for a purchase like this will help keep the Tribe prepared for other future acquisitions.

“This is a major investment, and I think that part of what this is going to do is basically let us know if it is a good investment for the Tribe or not.  And, I think this is a good vetting system to have in place and something that I’ve been advocating for for awhile…It’s a good way to vet a future investment for the Tribe.” 

All things considered, EBCI will likely pull the trigger on the purchase once the casino clears all of its due diligence inspections.

That’s good news for Caesars, since it’s running out of time to sell the casino.

Horseshoe Hammond needs a buyer

Caesars has to sell three of its Indiana casinos by the end of the year.

That’s because of a rule set by the Indiana Gaming Commission. It was one of the conditions that Caesars had to agree to before the commission approved the company’s merger with Eldorado over the summer.

Tropicana Evansville has already been sold, so if this deal for Caesars Southern goes through, they’ll almost be out of the woods.

Twin River Holdings is taking Tropicana off of Caesars’ hands.

The price tag? A hefty $480 million.

Caesars Southern could end up costing EBCI a pretty penny as well. The casino just moved into a brand-new building last December, so everything is likely still in great condition.

Horseshoe Hammond is the third and final casino on the Caesars sell list.

The company still needs to find a buyer, and time is running out. The gaming commission gave a deadline of Dec. 31 to have a deal lined up.

With November winding down, it’s starting to look like Caesars could miss that deadline if things don’t pick up soon.

The fact of the matter is, Caesars can’t sell the casino if no one is interested in buying it. The gaming commission will probably be willing to extend that deadline as long as it thinks Caesars is doing its best.

With three casinos changing hands, Indiana will have a handful of new companies entering the market for the first time.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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