Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: CZR) has announced plans to sell the Tropicana Evansville casino operations to Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TRWH) in Rhode Island. The $140 million deal is the result of the $17 billion merger of Caesars and Eldorado Resorts Inc., which was completed in July.
One of the conditions of the merger, the Indiana Gaming Commission required the combined company to divest three Hoosier gaming properties, including Horseshoe Hammond casino, Caesars Southern Indiana Casino in Florence, and Tropicana Evansville.
Twin River will acquire the Tropicana Evansville casino facility, as well as the rights to the sports betting and iGaming skins associated with the casino. However, as part of the deal, Pennsylvania-based Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. will acquire the casino real estate for $340 million and lease it back to Twin River for $28 million per year in rent.
“This transaction is consistent with our core strategy of acquiring strategic gaming assets at attractive valuations and, importantly, represents the Company’s entry into a 10th state,” said George Papanier, chief executive officer of Twin River. “It also provides us with access to an attractive Indiana gaming market, in which we will look to significantly advance our mobile and online sports betting and iGaming initiatives.”
Twin River says, once the acquisition is complete, it will operate 15 casino properties in 10 states.
The Tropicana Evansville, which opened as the state’s first land-based casino in 2017, includes 45,000 square feet of casino floor space, as well as 11,000 square feet of convention space and the nearby Riverfront Event Center.
The acquisition is expected to close in mid-2021, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.