SOUTHERN INDIANA — An agreement has been reached for the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana casino operations in Elizabeth.
Facing a Dec. 31 deadline to divest the casino, Caesars Entertainment, Inc. representatives announced in a news release Thursday morning that the casino operations will be sold to the North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, or EBCI. It’s an expansion of an existing partnership between the entities.
EBCI will pay $250 million for the operations. At the closing of the deal, EBCI will enter into a new lease with VICI Properties Inc. with annual payments of $32.5 million.
"Expanding our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is an exciting event for Caesars Entertainment," said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, in the news release. "Since our partnership began back in 1996, we have admired their growth and the success of their properties. We look forward to increasing our relationship by extending the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program to them at Caesars Southern Indiana."
Part of the deal also includes an agreement allowing EBCI to use Caesars’ brand and loyalty rewards program at the Southern Indiana casino. The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter in 2021.
"The purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana operating company marks the beginning of an exciting new future for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians," said EBCI Principal Chief Richard Sneed in the news release.
"We are pleased to build upon our long-standing partnership with Caesars as we look to advance our interests in commercial gaming in the coming years."
After it was acquired through a public merger with Eldorado Resorts Inc., Caesars was ordered by the Indiana Gaming Commission to sell three of its five casinos in the state.
Along with the Elizabeth casino, Caesars chose to sell its Evansville and Hammond properties.