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Twin River to acquire Tropicana Evansville from Caesars


Twin River Worldwide Holdings has agreed to acquire the Tropicana Evansville Casino in Indiana from Caesars Entertainment.

The property will be sold to real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) – which was spun off from Penn National Gaming in 2013 – for $340m. GLPI will then lease it to Twin River for $28m per year in rent, which may increase due to inflation.

Twin River president and chief executive George Papanier said the chance to launch operations in Indiana was a major reason for agreeing the deal.

“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,” Papanier explained.

“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. We are acquiring the operations at a value accretive multiple, while also enhancing our interactive offerings.”

Twin River will gain access to Tropicana Evansville’s sports betting skin, which is operated by William Hill, a business that is set to be acquired by Caesars pending shareholder approval.

William Hill shareholders will vote on the $3.51bn deal on 17 November, with the company’s board unanimously recommending shareholders vote in favour of the deal, choosing it over a rival bid from investment fund Apollo Global.

“I want to thank all of our Evansville Team Members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we wish them the best under Twin River’s ownership,” Caesars chief executive Tom Reeg said. 

Gaming and Leisure Properties will also acquire the real estate at Twin River’s Dover Downs venue for $144 million and lease it back to Twin River for $12m per year. The deal is expected to close in mid-2021, pending regulatory approval.

Earlier this month, Twin River acquired the Bally’s brand from Caesars, with the intention of renaming some of its existing properties to use the name as well as retaining the Bally’s brand at the Atlantic City facility it acquired from Caesars and real estate investment trust Vici Properties for $25m in April this year.

In July, Twin River acquired Eldorado Resorts’ Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Missouri and the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, a deal which helped Eldorado gain the regulatory approval necessary to acquire the legacy Caesars, after which it took on the Caesars brand name.

Image: Randella/Wikimedia Commons