Casinos Receive Green Light For New Digs

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Construction on the new land-based casino could begin this summer. (rendering courtesy Caesars Entertainment Corp.) Construction on the new land-based casino could begin this summer. (rendering courtesy Caesars Entertainment Corp.)

Two Indiana casinos are about to undergo major upgrades. The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino's plans to invest $85 million to construct a new land-based casino, as well as Ameristar East Chicago's $15 million renovation project.

The News and Tribune in Jeffersonville reports Horseshoe Southern Indiana parent Caesars Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: CZR) is in the final design phases for the 100,000-square-foot facility. Construction could begin this summer and be complete in the second half of 2019.

Casino General Manager Brad Seigel told the publication moving the casino from a riverboat to a land-based facility solves several challenges. He says the move will shorten the distance between the casino and hotel, and having one floor as opposed to the current four will add more convenience for guests.

Seigel says the casino's gaming offerings will not change much, but the new facility will feature new restaurants, stores and an entertainment venue.

The commission has also given the green light for Ameristar Casino in East Chicago to commence on a $15 million renovation project. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the project will begin Monday and is expected to be complete in early October.

The effort will be completed in phases throughout the four-level riverboat casino. Ameristar says rotating areas of the boat will be closed off for two-to-four-week periods, though renovations are expected to have minimal player and revenue disruption, according to the publication.

"The scope is pretty much almost everything there is on a casino floor from a gaming equipment perspective; new gaming chairs; carpets; ceilings; lighting; wall coverings; new furniture, fixtures and equipment; amenity upgrades; surveillance upgrades; and we're adding a restroom to our fourth level and all of our restrooms will be remodeled," Ameristar General Manager Matt Schuffert said. "We're very excited. We're getting great feedback from our guests and our nearly 1,200 team members. This is going to be a great project for us and a great project for Northwest Indiana and our gaming market."

As part of the approval, the commission authorized Ameristar to locate 21 table games to its off-boat pavilion ballroom when the main table game area of the vessel is being upgraded between July 16 and August 3. The casino has already invested nearly $6 million to permanently relocate its high-limit gaming area to the pavilion, which is expected to open in late May.

Schuffert tells The Times the casino has not ruled out moving the entire casino onto land in the future, but there are no current plans to do so. 

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