Indiana Casino Regulator Approves Relocation of Caesars’ Horseshoe Southern Indiana onto Land

The $85-million project for the relocation of the Horseshoe Southern Indiana riverboat casino onto nearby land received the necessary green light from the Indiana Gaming Commission on Tuesday. Construction on the land-based facility is expected to begin in June.

During a Tuesday meeting, Las Vegas gaming and hospitality company Caesars Entertainment Corp. appeared before the Indiana gambling regulator to seek approval for the project, which it received unanimously. Commission members told Caesars that they were happy the company has decided to invest in the state.

The major gambling operator plans to build a 100,000-square-foot casino. The facility will occupy a single floor and will include dining, entertainment, and retail options, Caesars has revealed. The company is still working on a design for its new gaming venue, but has said that it has entered the final stages of work. The design will, too, need to be approved. As mentioned above, construction is likely to begin in June. The land-based casino is expected to open doors in the second half of 2019.

The facility will be home to the riverboat Horseshoe Southern Indiana. The relocation is possible under a 2015 law that allowed floating casinos to move to dry land. However, the land-based facilities must be located within existing footprint.

Brad Seigel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Horseshoe Southern Indiana, said in a Tuesday statement that by relocating the casino on land, they want to provide patrons with a new gaming environment and enhanced experience. The official further pointed out that with the new gaming floor being closer to different amenities, parking included, more customers would be drawn to it.

Caesars’ $85-plus-million project further includes renovation at the property’s existing convention and meeting venue as well as the addition of outdoor balconies.

Previous Issues

The plan’s Tuesday approval came after it was clouded by uncertainly for a short while earlier this year. As reported by Casino News Daily back in March, Caesars threatened to abandon the project, as the Gaming Commission insisted on a $50-million transfer fee in relation to the operator’s recently announced acquisition of Centaur Gaming LLC.

Late in 2017, the Las Vegas giant said that it would buy Centaur and its two Indiana-based gambling venues for $1.7 billion, payable in cash. Under state law, the owner of a gaming business should pay a $50-million fee for transferring the gaming license to the new owner. However, Caesars and Centaur have argued that the fee does not apply to their transaction as it does not involve the original owner of the gaming properties.

The Indiana Gaming Commission, on the other hand, has maintained that the fee should be paid. The issue is planned to be discussed at a Commission meeting in June.

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