Las Vegas Sun

July 22, 2018

Currently: 84° — Complete forecast

Votes on Caesars’ purchase of Hoosier Park, Indiana Grand this week

Hoosier Park Racing and Casino is set to be rebranded as Harrah's Hoosier Park if a proposed sale is approved by two gambling regulation commissions this week.

Caesars Entertainment, which announced a $1.7 billion plans to buy Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand owner Centaur Gaming last year, was set to plead its case before the Indiana Horse Racing Commission on Wednesday and the Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday.

The acquisition would make the Las Vegas-based gambling giant owner of four of the state's five largest casinos in terms of revenue. Centaur Gaming brought in $480 million in casino revenue last fiscal year from the Anderson and Shelbyville casinos.

Caesars Entertainment already owns the state's largest casino, Horseshoe Hammond, which brought in $450 million in gambling revenue in 2016, and Horseshoe Southern Indiana, which ranks third with $248 million.

State law prohibits one company from owning more than two casinos in the state; however, that does not apply to racetrack-based casinos, which were authorized under a different Indiana statute, Jennifer Reske, deputy director of Indiana Gaming Commission, told the Herald Bulletin.

In pre-filed testimony, Caesars executives promise several large investments will be coming to both tracks, including a pledge to invest an additional $8 million in the two properties by the end of the year.

While it's unclear what that investment will go toward, Trent McIntosh, who has been hired by Caesars to be general manager of Hoosier Park if the acquisition is allowed, wrote in pre-filed testimony that the company is exploring the idea to add skybox suites to the racetrack.

His plan also includes the implementation of table gaming.

The IHRC is set to hear testimony from Caesars and Centaur Gaming officials at a 9 a.m. meeting Wednesday at the Indiana State Library, History Reference Room 211, 315 W Ohio St., Indianapolis.

If the measure is approved, it will move to the Indiana Gaming Commission Thursday for additional approval.