Casino Acquisitions Nearing Completion

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Centaur Holdings owns Indiana Grand in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park in Anderson. Centaur Holdings owns Indiana Grand in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park in Anderson.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Two major acquisitions involving Indiana casinos are coming close to the finish line. The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved the deals for Centaur Holdings in Indianapolis and Last Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PNK), which total $4.5 billion and are expected to close this year.

Centaur Holdings owns Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson. The company is being acquired for $1.7 billion by Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp.'s (Nasdaq: CZR). With the approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission as well as the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, Caesars says all regulatory requirements have been met and the deal is expected to close in mid-July.

"This acquisition represents an outstanding opportunity to expand our footprint in a growing region while also leveraging our Total Rewards loyalty network to benefit the customers of Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park," said Mark Frissora chief executive officer of Caesars. "We will continue to offer the excellent customer service that guests of Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park have come to expect and we look forward to welcoming them to the Caesars family."

Our partners at The Herald Bulletin report the Indiana Gaming Commission also levied a $1 million fine against Caesars for attempting to circumvent a $50 million fee required as part of the acquisition. The commission alleged Caesars General Counsel Tim Donovan and outside lobbyist Libby Cierzniak threatened to cancel the $90 million effort to move the Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino onto land unless the IGC agreed the $50 million fee did not apply, according to the publication. 

Meanwhile, the $2.8 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment by Penn National Gaming Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) still requires other regulatory approvals. Pinnacle owns Ameristar Casino and Hotel in East Chicago and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence.

“We appreciate the diligent work of the Indiana Gaming Commission in their review and approval of our proposed transaction," said Timothy Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming. "We look forward to securing additional regulatory approvals in the near term and remain on schedule to complete the transaction in the second half of this year.”

The deal received shareholder approval in March.

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