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Caesars Gets Reprieve From The IGC Over Horseshoe Hammond Sale

Horseshoe Hammond Casino, Indiana

Caesars Entertainment received some good news from the Indiana Gaming Commission this week, and it will allow the company to continue to have a big market in Indiana.

The IGC rescinded the order for Caesars to sell the Horseshoe Hammond Casino due to competition coming from Illinois.

When Caesars merged with Eldorado Resorts a year ago, the deal was only approved after Caesars agreed to sell three of its properties in the state. Horseshoe Hammond Casino was still looking for a buyer, but that will no longer be the case.

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There were five IGC members that voted during the meeting his week, and four of them were in favor of rescinding the order. The commission did not want this property to go to a company that was not established as it would struggle to be competitive in that part of the state.

A new Hard Rock Casino in Gary just recently opened up to the public, and Illinois is set to build casinos in Chicago and the suburbs. Caesars is a recognizable brand in the casino gambling business, and the IGC doesn’t want to lose out on that revenue.

With the reprieve, Caesars will retain a market share between 30-40 percent in Indiana, and that was the reason for the single vote against the amendment. The Tropicana Evansville and Caesars Southern Indiana will both have been sold and under new operation by the end of 2021.

Thomas McDermott Jr., mayor of Hammond, reached out to the IGC and requested that they reconsider the order to Caesars. Caesars has continued to maintain the property while looking for a buyer and is an important part of the economic structure in that town.

The IGC didn’t state that potential problems with Hard Rock were another reason for making this change, but it probably played a role.

Hard Rock Fails to Renew Licenses

Hard Rock International is just starting to make a name for itself in Indiana, but now the company is without a gaming license. Hard Rock owns and operates the new casino in Gary and construction is underway in Terre Haute on a new project.

The problem doesn’t come from Hard Rock itself, but from the investors that are associated with each project. Spectacle Entertainment is the leading investor in Gary, and Lucy Luck Gaming has invested in Terre Haute.

Both of the investors failed to disclose financial information to the IGC, which was a new requirement set earlier this year. This was put in place because of an investigation into Spectacle Entertainment, and the IGC wanted to protect itself moving forward.

The original deadline to disclose that information to the IGC was June 21, but that decision was ultimately being challenged in court. Spectacle Entertainment now has until July 23 to make these changes or face the closure of the new Hard Rock property.

Lucy Luck and the casino in Terre Haute have been given 90 days to disclose financial information to the IGC. This group does not even have an executive team in place, and that will be the first major step needed.

For more sports news and updates on legal sports betting in Indiana, check out more stories on our blog.

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