IGC approves Caesars Southern Indiana’s $250M sale to EBCI Holdings

Caesars Southern Indiana

The operator of Caesars Southern Indiana Hotel & Casino has finally obtained regulatory approval for the sale of the property to EBCI Holdings LLC -- a new venture formed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

In December last year, Casino operator Caesars Entertainment signed a deal with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to sell Caesars Southern Indiana Casino to EBCI Holdings for $250 million. Now, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) has also approved the deal.

Caesars and the federally-recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribe have a relationship for more than a quarter of a century. Their relationship started with the opening of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino on the tribal land in the state.

Scott Barber, who is currently serving as chief executive of EBCI Holdings, previously served as a manager and executive for Caesars for a longtime. Jacobs-Madden, an enrolled EBCI manager, served as a senior finance executive for the tribal casinos. Thus, both own several years of combined gaming management experience.

Commenting on IGC’s approval for the casino sale, Barber said, “We’re excited that Caesars Southern Indiana is our first acquisition, and look forward to doing business in Indiana.”

To mark the change in ownership of the gaming property, a ribbon-cutting celebration will likely take place in the coming weeks after the transaction closes. The new owner is expected to retain all the 900 members of the gaming property’s current workforce.

As part of the deal, EBCI Holdings will automatically enter into a lease with a subsidiary of VICI Properties – a gaming real estate investment trust. Under the terms of leasing, the new property owner will pay $32.5 million per annum for a period of 15 years.

In terms of revenue, Caesars Southern Indiana ranked fourth in July in the state. As per stats released by the IGC, it generated $21.3 million in adjusted gross revenues. The top spot was grabbed by Horseshoe Casino ($34.3 million), while Hard Rock Northern Indiana and Indiana Grand generated $31.2 million and $29.9 million, respectively.

Located directly across the Ohio River in Elizabeth, Ind., Caesars Southern Indiana is the biggest casino in the state’s southern part. It offers 1,650 slot machines. However, last month, it operated only around 1,100 slot machines and 87 table games. The property also offers a 503-room hotel, a state-of-the-art steakhouse, and multiple dining facilities, retail outlets, and a nearby golf course.