Caesars Selling Indiana Casino in Evansville for $340 Million

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By Jim Tomlin

Caesars Entertainment has agreed to sell its Tropicana Casino in Evansville, Indiana, to Gaming and Leisure Properties, which in turn will lease the property to Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) acquired the casino for $340 million and will receive at least $28 million a year from Twin River in rent.

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The move for the Tropicana Casino comes months after a $17.3 billion merger between Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado gained Federal Trade Commission approval. One of the final pieces of regulatory approval for that merger happened in Indiana, where the state’s Gaming Commission okayed the deal on the condition that the merged company, operating under the Caesars brand, would sell three of its five Indiana properties.

At the time of the merger, the state commission projected that Caesars properties were responsible for 50%-60% of Indiana’s gaming revenues, according to the Evansville Courier & Press. That figure would dip under 40% under the new deal for the Evansville casino, the report said.

Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg told the commission this summer that the merged company would sell the Tropicana, the Caesars Southern Indiana Casino in Elizabeth and the Horseshoe Hammond Casino.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings (TRWH) will get the rights to the sports betting and iGaming skins at the Tropicana Casino.

Delaware Casino Also Part of Deal

Another component of this deal resides not in Indiana, but in Delaware. GLPI is also going to buy the TRWH casino in Dover, Delaware, for $144 million, then lease it back to Twin River for a starting rent of $12 million a year, according to a Twin River news release. The lease deals for both the Evansville and Dover properties are for 15 years with options to extend.

"This transaction is consistent with our core strategy of acquiring strategic gaming assets at attractive valuations and, importantly, represents the Company's entry into a 10th state,” TRWH President and CEO George Papanier said. “It also provides us with access to an attractive Indiana gaming market, in which we will look to significantly advance our mobile and online sports betting and iGaming initiatives. We believe this property is a great fit for our portfolio.”

The Tropicana Casino in Evansville offers sports betting, slots and table games. Its poker room is temporarily closed in accordance with guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19, which shuttered casinos around the country this year.

The deal will close in mid 2021, pending regulatory approvals.

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WRITTEN BY
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Jim Tomlin
Jim Tomlin has more than 20 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports.
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Jim Tomlin has more than 20 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports.
... Read More