The famed Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel & Casino, also known as the Glory of Rome riverboat based in Elizabeth, Indiana, will soon move its gambling operations to a land-based facility just across the street.
Owned and operated by Caesars, the land-based casino will aptly be called Caesars Southern Indiana.
The Glory of Rome, the largest riverboat in the United States, will officially close on Dec. 12. On Saturday, many nearby residents and players gathered at a Bon Voyage Party for the Glory of Rome, which opened in 1998.
The riverboat sits along the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky and has provided entertainment for residents in the bordering areas.
Judy Hess, director of community relations at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, played a major role in bringing the casino to the state in 1998, in an era where the gambling industry was greatly misunderstood.
"Gaming was so new to Indiana," Hess said according to the News and Tribune of Evansville, Indiana. "Depending on who was looking at it, it had horns on its head. It was not something everybody was willing to embrace. … So many of us that were this far away from legalized gambling, all we knew of it was what we saw in the movies, you know, Goodfellas and all that. It was an inch-by-inch build with everybody in the county."
Hess added that the riverboat casino provided jobs for people in southern Harrison County – jobs which had been hard to come by. Before the riverboat casino opened, residents in the southern part of the county found it difficult to find work close to their home.
On Dec. 12, the same day the riverboat casino closes, the new Caesars Southern Indiana will officially open. The $90 million casino sits on 110,000 square feet and will feature slots, table games, poker and a sportsbook for on-site betting, Louisville Fox TV affiliate WDRB reported.
In September, the riverboat casino debuted a sportsbook. The first sports bet placed at Horseshoe Southern Casino came from 83-year-old Paul Hornung, the former Green Bay Packer who was barred for a full NFL season in 1963 for betting on his games.
Now, Hornung and other sports bettors will be able to wager on games at Caesars Southern sportsbook. The new sportsbook will allow players to bet on the games while watching them live in the lounge.
“So many of us will travel to Las Vegas and other areas to actually bet on sports,” Caesars Southern Indiana Assistant Manager Norris Hamilton said, according to Louisville NBC TV affiliate WAVE. “And so now you can do it right here in your own backyard legally, and I just think it’ll be another great amenity for people to come and enjoy.”