Caesars Entertainment Corporation looks set to considerably increase its operational portfolio in the state of Indiana after announcing the signing an agreement that could see it spend up to $1.7 billion in order to acquire local casino operator Centaur Holdings.

Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation and its subsidiaries already operate some 47 casinos across 13 states and five countries including Indiana’s Horseshoe Hammond and Horseshoe Southern Indiana. It revealed that the deal to purchase Centaur Holdings remains subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and will encompass it paying $1.625 billion in cash alongside agreeing to $75 million in deferred compensation.

Following the completion of the agreement, Caesars Entertainment Corporation stated that it will assume control of Centaur Holdings’ Indiana Grand Racing and Casino and Hoosier Park Racing and Casino properties as well as a trio of its off-track betting parlors in the communities of New Haven, Clarksville and Indianapolis.

Mark Frissora, President and Chief Executive Officer for Caesars Entertainment Corporation, declared that the deal represents ‘an excellent opportunity to enter into a growing region’ and that his firm would subsequently work to ‘build on our respective value creation and execution achievements for the benefit of customers, employees and local partners’.

“We are impressed with Centaur Holdings’ operations and culture and the strong presence it has built in its host communities,” read a statement from Frissora. “We look forward to welcoming Centaur Holdings’ properties, guests and employees to the Caesars Entertainment [Corporation] family.”

The Indianapolis Star newspaper reported that the acquisition, which is expected to close during the first half of 2018, is set to mark the first significant transaction for Caesars Entertainment Corporation since it emerged from bankruptcy earlier in the year after restructuring debts of around $18 billion. Although Indiana law prohibits single companies from operating more than two casinos, it clarified that the Nevada firm is set to get around this prohibition due to the fact that both Hoosier Park Racing and Casino and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino feature horseracing tracks.

“The addition of Centaur Holdings is the first example of our post-emergence inorganic growth strategy,” read the statement from Frissora. “We believe the acquisition of Centaur Holdings is the best use of capital to support our growth plans and the long-term value of Caesars Entertainment [Corporation].”

Located approximately 17 and 28 miles respectively from Indianapolis and its 855,000 residents, Indiana Grand Racing and Casino and Hoosier Park Racing and Casino both offer customers more than 2,000 slots and electronic table games alongside live and simulcast horseracing.

Rod Ratcliff, Chief Executive Officer for Indianapolis-headquartered Centaur Holdings, reportedly told the newspaper that his firm’s impending acquisition by Caesars Entertainment Corporation would ‘build on the successes and contributions of the properties’ and further benefit its ‘customers, team members, horsemen, community partners and financial stakeholders’.