11/16/2017 5:44PM

Caesars to purchase Indiana's two racetrack-casinos

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Caesars Entertainment, the sprawling casino company with a stake in a number of racetracks in the U.S., has reached an agreement to buy Centaur Gaming Inc., the owner and operator of the two racetrack-casinos in Indiana, the companies announced Thursday.

Caesars will pay $1.7 billion in cash for the two properties, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana, and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, according to the two companies. In a statement, the company’s officials noted that the two properties are close to Indianapolis, the state’s largest city, while most of Indiana’s other casinos hug the state’s borders.

Hoosier Park’s casino has 2,000 slot machines, with annual average revenues of approximately $200 million over the past four years, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission. Indiana Grand has 2,100 machines with revenue last year of approximately $271 million, according to the commission.

Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park are the state’s only racetracks. Indiana Grand races Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in a season lasting six months with approximately 115 racing dates, while Hoosier races Standardbreds over an eight-month period with approximately 160 racing dates. Purses at both racetracks are subsidized by law by revenues from the casinos.

Caesars also owns and operates two other casinos in Indiana, the Horseshoe Hammond in the northwestern corner of the state and the Horseshoe Casino Southern in Elizabeth, on the southern border of the state. There are a total of 13 casinos in the state.

Caesars has stakes in a number of racetracks in the U.S., largely through its Harrah’s brand, including properties in Pennsylvania and Louisiana.