Indiana Racing Commission clears way for Eldorado Resorts to acquire two raetracks

Indiana Racing Commission clears way for Eldorado Resorts to acquire two ra

The Indiana Racing Commission (IRC) has finally cleared the way for Nevada-based casino giant Eldorado Resorts Incorporated (ERI) to acquire the state’s two racetracks, namely Indiana Grand Sports Campus and Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

The IRC voted unanimously to allow the casino and entertainment giant to become the new owner of Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park. However, the state’s racing regulator also instructed the casino giant to abide by a series of its instructions issued in a bid to address concerns about the takeover.

Tom Reeg, chief executive officer for Eldorado Resorts, listed to the commission’s concerns and said that that many of those concerns had been eased with Joe Morris’ joining the company as senior vice president of racing. Morris, a longtime racing insider, became the company’s senior vice president of racing in February this year. Previously, he was at the Stronach Group, overseeing the company’s West Coast operations for around half a decade.

It may be noted here that commission staff had somewhat negative views regarding Eldorado resorts’ racing operations. In its report, the commission had stated that Eldorado would likely not spend funds on upgrading racing facilities. Morris agreed with the report that the casino lacked experience in racetrack operations. He also agreed that the track was not sufficiently replaced after the MTR merger.

Speaking on the topic, he added, “The managers did lack authority. They were mired in bureaucracy. It just took too long just to get a decision made.”

Morris also showed the commission an organizational chart explaining that the two Indiana track general managers would report to him and he would directly report to ERI President and chief operating officer Anthony Carano to cut the red tape.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) has already approved the Eldorado’s proposed acquisition of Caesars, but asked it to sell at least three of its Indiana properties by the end of this year. Last Friday, Reeg informed the commission that the company agreed to sell three of its properties, viz. Horseshow, Caesars and Tropicana Evansville, to address the commission’s competition concerns.

Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park are part of Eldorado’s $17.3 billion deal to acquire Caesars
Entertainment Corp. The IRC meeting was one of the several regulatory hearings for the proposed transaction. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission is now slated to discuss the proposed acquisition later this week.

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