Caesars Entertainment’s Next Great Empire Is…Indiana?

Written By Martin Derbyshire on November 22, 2017

[toc]Fresh out of bankruptcy, Nevada-based Caesars Entertainment is building up a new empire of casinos in the state of Indiana.

Caesars agreed to purchase Indianapolis-based horse racing company Centaur Holdings LLC for $1.7 billion last week. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

Centaur owns and operates Anderson, Indiana’s Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, and Shelbyville, Indiana’s Indiana Grand Racing and Casino.

Caesars properties in Indiana

Hoosier Park is just 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The facility features a standardbred racetrack with live harness racing from April through October. Plus, there is year-round casino gaming, including 2,000 slots.

Indiana Grand is even closer to Indianapolis. The facility features live thoroughbred and quarter horse racing from April through October. Additionally, it has casino gaming all year long. The property has over 2,300 slot machines, electronic table games, and a poker room.

Caesars already owns and operates the Horseshoe Hammond and Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino properties in the state.

Horseshoe Hammond is right by the Indiana-Illinois state line, just 20 minutes from Chicago, Illinois. The casino has more than 3,000 slot machines and 100 table games. It also features the largest poker room in the Midwest, with 34 tables.

Horseshoe Southern Indiana is just outside Elizabeth, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The property is the largest riverboat casino in the world, with over 2,800 slot machines and more than 140 table games.

The acquisition of the Centaur casino and racetrack properties will give Caesars ownership of four of 13 casinos in Indiana.

Caesars emerges from bankruptcy

Caesars filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. It only emerged from that bankruptcy in October of this year. The company’s last major casino purchase was Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip in 2009.

According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, Indiana casinos reported $2.1 billion in revenue in 2016. Plus, up to and including September of this year, those same 13 Indiana casino properties reported $1.6 billion in gambling revenues. Fourth quarter casino revenues in parts of the state have proved weather-dependent in the past.

Caesars Entertainment owns and operates over 50 casinos and hotels under a number of different brand names. In fact, it is the fourth-largest gaming company in the world.

Gaming giant Harrah’s Entertainment purchased Caesars Entertainment in 2005. At the time, the two companies sold several casino properties to avoid antitrust implications. This included the Harrah’s East Chicago riverboat casino in East Chicago, Indiana. This property is now owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Pinnacle Entertainment.

Harrah’s Entertainment then changed its name to Caesars Entertainment in 2010.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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