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Caesars completes sale of southern Indiana operations to tribal operator


Caesars Entertainment has finalized the sale of its Caesars Southern Indiana land-based casino to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Agreed In January of this year, the deal saw the tribal operator pay $250m to take over the property in Elizabeth, Indiana.

Caesars and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians also extended their existing relationship by entering into a long-term agreement for the continued use of the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program at the property.

Caesars began working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in 1996 when together they partnered to open Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. A second property, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, followed in 2015.

“I want to thank the team members of Southern Indiana for all of their hard work and wish them continued success under their new leadership,” Caesars chief executive Tom Reeg said.

The sale follows the Indiana Gaming Commission ordering Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts to sell a trio of properties in the state as a key condition for approving the companies’ mega-merger, which was finalized in July 2020.

In relation to the acquisition, Vici Properties, the real estate investment trust spun off from Caesars in 2017, also signed a new lease with the tribe for annual rent payments of $32.5m.

The agreement will run for an initial 15 years with four five-year renewal options. Rent will increase by 1.5% annually, beginning in the second year of the deal until year lease year five, after which rent will rise by 2.0% or the Consumer Price Index – whichever is higher – beginning from year six.

Annual base rent payments under Vici’s Regional Master Lease with Caesars will be reduced by $32.5m.

In addition, Vici, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars entered a right of first refusal for Vici on the real property associated with the development of a new casino resort in Danville, Virginia.