- Caesars Entertainment is selling a property in Southern Indiana to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for $250.
- The property is one of several that Caesars has sold in the wake of the merger with Eldorado Resorts.
- The property will keep the Caesars name and branding.
Caesars Entertainment continues to shed properties as they tidy up their balance sheet following the $17.3 billion acquisition by Eldorado Resorts. Within the past two months they’ve closed deals on sales in Atlantic City, Louisiana and elsewhere. There’s also Caesars’ purchase of UK based bookmaking giant William Hill which is in the process of gaining regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q1 or Q2 of 2021.
Unlike other property sales, the most recently announced transaction won’t even result in a rebranding. Although Caesars Southern Indiana is changing hands the name will stay the same. That’s because the casino company is leasing them the branding rights along with the use of the Caesars Rewards loyalty program. Technically, the agreement is between the tribe and Vici Properties, which is the Caesars affiliated real estate investment trust that owns the land.
As gaming transactions go, this isn’t one of the most exciting though it is thought to be a necessary move for Caesars. They were ordered by the Indiana Gaming Commission to divest properties as a condition of their approval of the Caesars/Eldorado merger. It should also help them as they try and gain approval to open a property in Danville, Virginia.
Even the press release quotes for the deal are fairly low key. We’ll start with Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment who speaks highly of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians:
“Expanding our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is an exciting event for Caesars Entertainment. Since our partnership began back in 1996, we have admired their growth and the success of their properties. We look forward to increasing our relationship by extending the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program to them at Caesars Southern Indiana.”
Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians returned the love:
“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.”
The release from VICI Properties announcing the deal was all business. Here’s what John Payne, President and COO of VICI had to say about the arrangement:
“This transaction provides additional tenant diversification and continues to build VICI’s embedded growth pipeline while allowing Caesars to further their strategic objectives in Indiana. After only 3 years of real estate investment management, VICI has the most tenants of any gaming REIT. We’re thrilled to welcome EBCI as our sixth gaming tenant and look forward to a long partnership as they expand into commercial gaming.”
The EBCI’s Richard Sneed even got in a perfunctory response on the VICI press release:
“We have been operating in partnership with Caesars for over 20 years at our Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River properties and are excited to form a relationship with VICI as we begin to expand our gaming portfolio outside of North Carolina.”
The deal is expected to close in Q3 of 2021. Caesars Southern Indiana is located in Elizabeth, Indiana just over the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.