December 24, 2020 Casino, Tribal, Land-Based

Caesars to sell Southern Indiana casino operations to Cherokee tribe

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Company has made several divestments after merger with Eldorado Resorts.

Caesars Entertainment, Inc., on Thursday said it has reached an agreement with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to sell the operations of Caesars Southern Indiana.

The two parties said the purchase price will be $250m, subject to customary purchase price adjustments.

At the close of the transaction, the tribe will enter into a new lease with year one annual rent payments of $32.5m with VICI Properties Inc., which will maintain ownership of the property’s real estate.

Caesars and the EBCI said they will extend their existing 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.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

When Eldorado Resorts Inc. acquired what had been known as Caesars Entertainment Corp., the result was the new entity owning five casinos in Indiana. The Indiana Gaming Commission subsequently ruled the operator must sell three of those properties to reduce its concentration.

“Expanding our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is an exciting event for Caesars Entertainment,” Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said in a statement. “Since our partnership began back in 1996, we have admired their growth and the success of their properties.”

Richard Sneed, principal of Chief Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians added: “The purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana operating company marks the beginning of an exciting new future for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 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.”

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