Less than a month after its main operating unit exited bankruptcy protection, casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. is reportedly looking to expand its domestic operations. Bloomberg Newsreported on Wednesday that the company is entering the final stages of negotiations with fellow gambling company Centaur Gaming to purchase two horse racing and casino businesses owned by the latter.
According to the news outlet, Caesars will buy Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Indiana and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville. It is believed that the deal could be confirmed by the end of the week. Sources revealed that Caesars would likely pay over $1 billion to extend its footprint in Indiana.
The company currently owns two riverboat gambling operations in the state – Horseshoe Hammond and Horseshoe Southern Indiana in the town of Elizabeth.
Local media pointed out that if the acquisition deal indeed takes place, the Las Vegas-headquartered operator will thus own Indiana’s fourth biggest gambling venues in terms of full-year revenue generated. In 2016, Horseshoe Hammond generated the amount of $450 millionin casino revenue more than any other casino property in the state. Combined, Indiana’s 13 casinos generated a total of $2.2 billion last year.
Manifestations of Caesars’ Expansion and M&A Activity
As mentioned above, Caesars finally closed its burdensome bankruptcy chapter in October after two and a half years of attempts to exit from bankruptcy without any considerable consequences for its operations. Earlier this year, the major operator revealed that it would focus on geographical expansion and merger and acquisition deals, among other things, to extend its footprint and gambling business.
The potential acquisition of the two Centaur Gaming properties comes as one of the first manifestations of its renewed growth push. As Casino News Daily reported earlier today, Caesars is also warming up for the future bidding process for a license in the recently opened and highly attractive Japanese casino market.
As mentioned above, the two gambling venues are among the state’s largest. Indiana Grand generated revenue of $271 million last year and Hoosier Park raked in $209 million.
According to people with knowledge of the matter, the two properties’ value was boosted by a 2015 law that made it possible for Centaur Gaming to apply for permission to replace the electronic table games currently available at the two venues with ones run by live dealers in 2021. Thus, both Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand will have the chance to expand their operations with games such as roulette and blackjack.
Centaur Gaming actually acquired Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in early 2013. The gambling operator spent $500 million on the gambling venue, thus expanding its presence in the Indiana market.
Apart from the above-mentioned two gambling properties, Centaur Gaming also owns off-track betting facilities in Indianapolis, New Haven, and Clarksville.