The Indiana Gaming Commission gave the green light for four casinos in the state to change ownership.
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On Thursday, the gambling authority gave permission for a rather complex three-company deal to go forward, involved Belterra Casino Resort in Switzerland County and Ameristar Casino in East Chicago.
Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns both Belterra and Ameristar, is being bought by Penn National Gaming Inc. The problem was that Penn already owns Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceberg and therefore had to get rid at least one casino property to meet state laws. As such, Boyd Gaming Corp, which is part of the Pinnacle and Penn deal, has agreed to buy Belterra, as well as another three properties owned by Penn National.
Another deal approved unanimously by the Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday was Caesars Entertainment Corp’s $1.7 billion acquisition of Centaur Gaming and the two horse racing casinos owned by the group, namely Indiana Grand in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park in Anderson.
While, under state law, gambling companies are not allowed to own more than two casinos in Indiana, the same law does not apply to racetrack based casinos such as Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park. This is why the Caesars Entertainment deal was approved by the Gaming Commission. Caesars owns two casinos in the state, Horseshoe Hammond Casino and Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel and Casino.
Caesars already has great plans for its new casino acquisitions and expects to upgrade with new technology and make other improvements this year already. It is also mulling the option of rebranding Hoosier Park and calling it Harrah’s Hoosier Park to bring it in line with its other horse racing casinos, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack and Harraha’s Lousiana Downs.