American casino operator Caesars Entertainment Incorporated has announced the signing of a deal that is to see it offload its Tropicana Evansville property to Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated for $480 million in cash.

The Las Vegas-headquartered firm used a short Tuesday press release to declare that the disposal of the 338-room venue to the real estate investment trust (REIT) recently spun off from Penn National Gaming Incorporated is expected to close next year ‘subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions’ to see its footprint in the Indiana casino market reduced to four properties.

Regulatory requirement:

The move from Caesars Entertainment Incorporated, which was previously known as Caesars Entertainment Corporation prior to its $17.3 billion merger with Eldorado Resorts Incorporated, was one of the conditions set by Indiana regulators at the time of approving this July amalgamation. The newly-enlarged entity nevertheless continues to be responsible for the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, Horseshoe Hammond, Caesars Southern Indiana and Harrah’s Hoosier Park venues although it may subsequently look to offload more properties in ‘The Hoosier State’ so as to further assuage any anti-competition concerns.

Operator alteration:

Tom Reeg, Chief Executive Officer for Caesars Entertainment Incorporated, used the press release to additionally detail that the upcoming sale is to eventually involve American casino operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated taking over the running of the land-based Tropicana Evansville just as this entity has at its Bally’s Atlantic City, Lady Luck Casino and Hotel Vicksburg, Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City, Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport and Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa Lake Tahoe venues.

Read a statement from Reeg…

“I want to thank all of our Evansville team members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and we wish them the best under the ownership of Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated.

Growing group:

For its part and Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated used its own Tuesday press release to explain that the coming arrangement is to involve it paying a one-time fee of approximately $140 million to Caesars Entertainment Incorporated alongside an annual rent of $28 million to Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated. The fast-growing firm recently moreover paid $20 million for the worldwide rights to the Bally name and detailed that the riverside Tropicana Evansville with its 45,000 sq ft casino and four restaurants is to become the 14th venue it runs across ten states.

Future focus:

George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer for Twin River Worldide Holdings Incorporated, used this press release to proclaim that his firm will also be eager to exploit Tropicana Evansville’s existing race and sportsbook and ‘acquire unencumbered rights to the sportsbetting and iGaming skins’ run by the Vanderburgh County property so as ‘to access the growing Indiana market’.

Read a statement from Papanier…

“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 tenth state. It also provides us with access to an attractive Indiana gaming market in which we will look to significantly advance our mobile and online sportsbetting and iGaming initiatives. We believe this property is a great fit for our portfolio. We are acquiring the operations at a value accretive multiple while also enhancing our interactive offerings.”