Indiana Horse Racing Commission Not Thrilled with Eldorado/Caesars Deal

Indiana Horse Racing Commission Not Thrilled with Eldorado/Caesars Deal

The staff at Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) are not fully convinced of the $17.3 billion takeovers of Caesars Entertainment by Eldorado Resorts.

New report reveals concerns

In a new report, the IHRC staff has raised issues on the takeover and wrote that it’s not possible “to offer its enthusiastic or unqualified recommendation for the approval of ERI’s permit application.” It mentioned the operator’s previous experience with Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio as the reason behind its apprehensions. The operator currently runs this racetrack and will get access to Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park run by Caesars after the takeover.

Indiana Horse Racing Commission Not Thrilled with Eldorado/Caesars Deal

The staff report also states,

“Additionally, it is unclear to Commission Staff that ERI would remain as committed to horse racing if Indiana Grand and/or Hoosier Park are affected by economic downturn or fall short of expected revenues following the table game build-out.”

A regulatory roadblock for Eldorado

Eldorado has to go through a long lineup of regulatory hurdles to clear the acquisition deal. It has already received approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC) is expected to vote on the acquisition mid-July. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) alongside the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) will be discussing the matter this week. IHRC has put the deal on its agenda for July 13.

There were speculations about the IHRC’s discomfort with the Eldorado takeover of Caesars because of the operator’s relative inexperience in handling horse races. However, Eldorado has previously controlled tracks in both West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The IHRC suggests that it would be difficult to reconcile the two sides of the organization, in which one side is that operating Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand but the other side is indifferent to horse racing since 2014.

Note that Eldorado entered the pari-mutuel business in 2014 with an MTR Gaming merger. However, it has divested some of its racetrack assets since then.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.