Indiana state regulators are likely to extend the deadline for casino divestment due to uncertainty in the casino industry related to the impact of coronavirus.
An extra year in the works
It is expected that Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) revise the terms Caesars Entertainment regarding the sale of its casinos in the state. In July, giving conditional approval to the merger Caesars i Eldorado, IGC required the combined entity to divest by year-end 3 z 5 casino properties in Indiana to prevent "excessive economic concentration" in the state.
In a statement released Wednesday, the commission's executive director, Sara Tait, suggested a possible extension of the deadline for divestment Horseshoe Casinos in Hammond for another year. The IGC is expected to amend the terms of the mandatory divestiture at a meeting in Monday November 23.
The property belonging to the former Eldorado Resorts, Tropicana Casino in Evansville, has already been sold for $480 million fund investment Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) i Twin River Worldwide Holdings in October. Twin River has since taken over the Bally's brand from Caesars and adopted the name Bally's.
Caesars Entertainment is currently in exclusive negotiations for the sale of the casino Caesars Southern Indiana in Elizabeth on a certain date December 31, since Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians signed a letter of intent with Caesars this month, but the situation regarding the sale of the third property, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, could not be completed in time.
Horseshoe Hammond Sale Posing Challenge
Sara Tait said in a statement that the sale of the Hammond casino presents "unique challenges" stemming from the uncertainty surrounding the expansion of gaming in Chicago and the southern suburbs of Cook County, Illinois, as well as the severe impact of the ongoing health crisis caused by Coronavirus on the gaming industry generally.
The number of casinos in the Chicago suburbs is expected to grow rapidly as a major resort casino is to be built in downtown Chicago, in addition to several other suburban casinos that are under construction in Hawthorne Park and another location south of town, in addition to 5 already there.
The regulator members expressed their belief that giving the operator more time to dispose of the property would be in the best interest of both the state and the community and would not adversely affect activity on the property.
In July, commissioners raised concerns that if Caesars intends to keep casinos for sale longer than 18 months, this could negatively affect the properties as the operator may neglect them, but now it seems that the IGC has changed its perspective and is definitely set to provide time relief to the casino giant.