New Owner Could Purchase Hammond’s Horseshoe Casino By This Year
The new merger will be known as Caesars Entertainment Inc., which will supervise the operations of three casino operations in Indiana by December 31. The commission said they are concerned that the four Caesars properties and Tropicana Casino in Evansville could cause an economic concentration in the State’s gambling industry.
State legislation in 2019 gave power to the Gaming Commission to decide whether an operator has the potential to dominate the State’s gaming industry. The gaming regulator needed to ensure that a gaming entity’s operations couldn’t suppress competition and have no negative impact on tourism and the development of the economy. The operation of an entity should never impact the revenue of the State and the local governments.
Eldorado, Caesars merger could threaten jobs and gaming revenue
Gaming Commission Executive Director Sara Tait said that their previous investigation on Eldorado’s acquisition of Evansville casino revealed that it resulted in fewer jobs and a decline in gaming revenue. The purchase of the four additional Indiana casinos could produce a negative impact in the State.
Officials from Eldorado warned its investors that the gaming regulator would require them to sell two Indiana casino properties as part of the deal when they purchased Caesars. Eldorado might sell Tropicana Evansville and Caesars Southern Indiana.
However, Commissioner Mark Fine and Joseph Svetanoff, recommended that the company sell the third company since its estimated 40% post-divestment market share is way too high. The best option for sale is Horseshoe Hammond.
Fine noted that 40percent market share is a concentration, and he added that the selling of the properties needed to happen for the benefit of the State.
Thomas Reeg, CEO of Eldorado, asked for a time extension due to the pandemic’s economic impacts and the fierce competition in Northwest Indiana, following the authorization of new casinos in Chicago and Cook County.
Indiana Horse Racing Commission Reviews Caesars acquisition
The company could decide to sell Horseshoe after the Indiana Horse Racing Commission reviews and approved the acquisition. Deena Pitman, the racing commission’s executive director, did not endorse the purchase because Eldorado has no history and investments in horse racing.
Pitman questioned the capability of the company to lead the future of racing in the State. Without the approval, Eldorado needed to let go of the two racing properties, leaving it under the management of Horseshoe and another Indiana casino.
Eldorado’s chief operating officer Anthony Carano claimed that Indiana’s gaming industry is one of the fastest gaming in the country, and it provides many opportunities for properties to grow.
Eldorado applied for approval for the acquisition of Caesars in 2019. It seeks the approval of the Gaming Commission to purchase Caesars through a public merger.
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