Caesars Pleads with Indiana Gaming Commission to Let It Keep Hammond Casino

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. will retain its ownership of Horseshoe Hammond Casino after the Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday amended a previously issued divestiture order requiring the company to sell a third casino asset in the state.

As a result, Caesars will continue to own and run Horseshoe Hammond, Indiana Grand, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and three off-track betting facilities across Indiana.

Earlier this week, the Gaming Commission listed the “Horseshoe Hammond Divestiture Order” as an item on the agenda for its Thursday meeting. The regulator declined to provide further details on the matter when asked by local news outlets.

It was earlier this week again when reports emerged that Caesars had been looking to persuade gaming commissioners to let it keep Horseshoe Hammond as it believed that it was in the casino’s best interest to continue to operate under the company’s stewardship.

In July 2020, the Indiana Gaming Commission directed the gaming and hospitality powerhouse to sell three of its five casinos in the state by the end of that year to prevent an “undue economic concentration” of the local gaming industry following Caesars’ $17.3 billion combination with Eldorado Resorts.

The expanded group chose to sell the Hammond casino, along with its Caesars Southern Indiana and Tropicana Evansville properties.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges it raised to the industry, the regulatory agency in November gave Caesars an additional year to find a buyer for Horseshoe Hammond.

A Strong and Exciting Future

Commenting on Caesars being allowed to keep its Hammond property, the company’s CEO, Tom Reeg, said in a statement that they are confident their “continued operating of Horseshoe Hammond is in the best interest of our Team Members, guests, the Hammond community, and the State of Indiana.”

Mr. Reeg went on to say that they believe maintaining their strong customer and employee relationship makes the property “best positioned for a strong and exciting future.”

Public record requests recently submitted by The Times of Northwest Indiana showed recent letters from Mr. Reeg and Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. in which they urged the Gaming Commission to reconsider their order for the company to sell the Hammond property.

Caesars’ top official wrote in his letter that the Hoosier State would benefit from leaving the operator in charge of the casino amid an ongoing shakeup in the regional market caused by last month’s launch of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary, along with the pending development of casinos in Chicago and suburban Cook County in Illinois.

Mayor McDermott wrote that with competition looming from neighboring Illinois, “now it is even more important to shore up the competitive advantage we have at our gaming location in Hammond.”

Source: Horseshoe Hammond Remains Part Of Caesars Entertainment, PR Newswire, June 24, 2021

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