Indiana Grand Casino is adding another expansion to its to-do list.
The Caesars property recently announced a $32 million expansion that started construction last month.
Now, the casino is shifting its gaze over to horse racing.
Indiana Grand is one of the state’s two horse racing casino locations.
The “racino’s” latest expansion shows the commitment that Caesars has in Indiana. It will also deliver some much-needed upgrades for the racetrack at the property.
Indiana Grand horse racing expansion
Caesars is pumping $7 million into Indiana Grand’s horse racing business.
That money will go toward several projects, including the barn and dorm facilities at the racetrack.
For example, the racing area will be adding 100 new stalls and 50 new dorm rooms.
The expanded dorm room will be a two-story building that will eventually sit next to the new barn.
The expansion also includes winterized sliding doors on both sides of the barn, as well as 10 new wash bays and 10 tack rooms.
When it’s all said and done, there will be enough space for almost 1,200 horses at the property.
The casino hopes to start construction sometime in May.
Improving Indiana horse racing
Indiana Grand’s racing area could use some improvements.
According to Caesars Vice President of Racing Joe Morris, the property doesn’t have enough stalls right now.
“We can’t control our own destination. We rely on too many horses coming in from other states. One hundred more stalls allows us to expand our stables, bring in more horses.”
Since there will be more dorm rooms, there will also be more space for groomers and caretakers.
Morris believes that that will be a huge difference-maker for the property.
“Nothing is more important in our industry than groomers. They live with our horses. Morning, noon and night, they’re with the horses as we’ve got a nice, safe, climate-controlled quarter for them to stay. That enables our trainers to have more horses.”
More horses means packed fields for events. That’s great news for the horse racing side of Indiana gambling.
Indiana Grand’s track is very busy throughout the year, so the expansion should only add to the action at the property.
That’s all thanks to Caesars pouring millions of dollars into the racino.
Caesars makes good on horse racing promise
Caesars owns both of the Hoosier State’s racinos.
Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park are the only two horse racing casinos in the state.
Caesars is starting to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to the two properties.
Eldorado Resorts merged with Caesars last year, and the deal had to receive approval from Indiana regulators.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) almost derailed that approval.
The commission wasn’t exactly thrilled about the company taking over racing in the state.
“In short, it is impossible for Commission Staff to offer its enthusiastic or unqualified recommendation for the approval of ERI’s permit application.”
At the time, the IHRC had concerns about the company’s history with other racetracks around the country.
It argued that Eldorado had neglected some previously bought racetracks, and it didn’t want to see that happen in Indiana.
Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg put together a horse racing plan to ease the commission’s worries. The company committed to make improvements to Indiana’s racinos that included:
- A $60 million commitment to expand Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park
- A $25 million commitment every 10 years to maintain racetracks
- $1 million added to racing purses from 2020-2022 to jump-start interest
- $250,000 in donations to community organizations and charities in Shelbyville and Anderson
The new expansions at Indiana Grand show that Caesars is taking this seriously so far.
The company doesn’t want its Indiana properties to fall by the wayside, so it’s making sure that Indiana Grand keeps its status as a top-notch gambling option in the Indianapolis area.
Caesars will likely expand Hoosier Park at some point in the future as well.
All things considered, the investments are great news for Hoosiers that enjoy betting on horses in Indiana.