Caesars Entertainment has entered into an agreement to divest Caesars Southern Indiana to The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for $280M. In an announcement, the Las Vegas-based gambling company said that it is extending the Caesars brand to one of its long-time partners.
Said Caesars Entertainment Inc. CEO Tom Reeg:
“Expanding our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is an exciting event for Caesars Entertainment. Since our partnership began back in 1996, we have admired their growth and the success of their properties.”
The Caesars Southern Indiana opened in 1998 as the Horseshoe Southern Indiana, a riverboat casino on the Ohio River. It became a $90M 100,000 square foot land-based casino in 2019 under Caesars. But after the latter’s $17.3B merger with Eldorado, Caesars was ordered to sell the Indiana casino by December 31st.
Extending Their Long-Standing Relationship
The sale of the Indiana casino is expected to close in the third business quarter of 2021. After the closing of the transaction, Caesars and EBCI will extend their long-standing relationship by entering into a long-term agreement for the continued use of the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards Loyalty Program at Caesars Southern Indiana.
In addition, the EBCI will enter into a new lease agreement with a year one rental of $32.5M with VICI who maintains the ownership of the real estate. As a result of this transaction, Caesars’ annual payments to VICI Properties under the regional master lease will be decreased by $32.5M.
A Sovereign Nation
J.P. Morgan and Watkins LLP will represent Caesars Entertainment in the sale of the Indiana casino. Meanwhile, Innovation Capital LLC and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck will represent the Eastern Band of Cherokee indians. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a sovereign nation. As such, it has its own laws, elections, government, institutions, and the likes. The own and operate two casinos in North Carolina. The tribe operates two casinos in North Carolina.