Caesars Breaks Ground on Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino Relocation and Expansion Project

Horseshoe Southern Indiana held Wednesday a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the official start of an $85-million project for the relocation of the riverboat casino on dry land. The Indiana Gaming Commission gave the green light to the plan in April.

The riverboat casino hosted its official groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, but it said that construction work at the site where the land-based casino would be located has already begun. Owner Caesars Entertainment Corp. has previously said that between 50 and 100 people would be employed at peak construction times and that the plan would take 18 months to be finalized.

The company is building a 100,000-square-foot property on land close to where the riverboat casino sits in Elizabeth. It will include a casino floor as well as food and beverage, retail, and entertainment facilities. The property is now under development near Horseshoe Southern Indiana’s existing hotel. Renovation of the hotel rooms was carried out two years ago.

Commenting on the new construction project at the site, Harmon Brown, the developer behind the renovation and expansion project, said that work has begun, with workers already being done with demolition and preparation of the construction site.

The existing riverboat casino will remain open while the new land-based facility is under development.

Why Is Horseshoe Southern Indiana Moving on Dry Land?

Horseshoe Southern Indiana is taking advantage of a 2015 amendment to the state’s gambling law that allowed riverboat casinos to move onto nearby land. The reforms were adopted after Indiana had seen the biggest gaming revenue declines and the loss of hundreds of casino jobs following the expansion of gaming in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.

The amended law allowed the state’s riverboat casinos along the Ohio River and Lake Michigan to build brick-and-mortar casinos but only on land near their current operations.

In previous comments about their on-land relocation plan, Horseshoe Southern Indiana’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Brad Seigel, has said that the would look to introduce a new gaming environment to their patrons and enhanced gaming and non-gaming experience. The casino’s management team also believes that the fact the gaming floor will be located closer to parking and other facilities will probably draw more customers to it.

As mentioned above, the Indiana Gaming Commission gave the nod to the casino’s relocation petition in April. However, previous issues could have stalled the plan as Caesars disputed a $50-million transfer fee for the acquisition of Centaur Gaming LLC and its two Indiana-located gaming facilities – Hoosier Park Racing and Casino and Grand Racing and Casino.

The Las Vegas-based gaming giant announced late last year the $1.7-billion cash deal as part of its expansion plans. The Indiana Gaming Commission insisted that a $50-million fee for the transfer of ownership should be paid in order for the deal to be able to move forward. However, Caesars argued that the fee was not applicable to the transaction as Centaur Gaming was not the original owner of the two properties.

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