Caesars Plans $32.5M Expansion at Indiana Grand, Add ‘World Series’ Poker Room

Posted on: March 17, 2021, 11:06h. 

Last updated on: March 18, 2021, 10:42h.

Caesars Entertainment announced on Wednesday it plans to spend $32.5 million to expand at the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville.

Indiana Grand expansion
A rendering of the planned World Series of Poker poker room at the Indiana Grand. On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment announced plans to invest $32.5 million to add more slots and table games at the Shelbyville, Ind., racino. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

The Las Vegas-based gaming company plans to expand the racino’s gaming floor by about 25,000 square feet. That will allow for 100 new slot machines and 25 more table games.

The expansion will also create 100 new jobs at the casino, located 20 miles southeast of downtown Indianapolis

The company also plans other amenities, including culinary, hospitality, and entertainment options. Those announcements will likely come later this year once the casino receives approvals from local government and the IGC.

The Indiana Grand is one of the state’s larger and more lucrative casinos. According to information from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the casino currently operates 1,084 slot machines and 61 table games. Once the expansion is complete, only Horseshoe Hammond, with 111, will offer more table games in Indiana.

In 2020 the racino generated more than $30.9 million in tax revenue for Indiana, second only to the Horseshoe’s $49.7 million, according to the IGC.

Long-Planned Investment for Caesars

Caesars officials strongly indicated nearly a year ago that it would invest in the two Indiana properties it plans to keep.

When Tom Reeg, now CEO of Caesars Entertainment, spoke to the IGC last summer about Eldorado Resorts’ plans for its properties in the state, he said the plans were to keep Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park in Anderson. Both facilities are racinos within a half-hour drive of Indianapolis.

At the time, Reeg estimated the company would spend about $60 million to add more table games at both casinos.

After being allowed to only offer electronic games for more than a decade, Indiana’s expanded gaming law in 2019 finally allowed the racinos to add live table games on Jan. 1, 2020.

In a statement, Caesars President and COO Anthony Carano said the company wants to invest in all of its casinos.

This investment at Indiana Grand is a testament to our continued commitment to Indiana,” he said.

While Caesars kept the two Indiana racinos, a key stipulation to the IGC’s approval of the Eldorado takeover of the company was the divestiture of three of the combined company’s five assets. Last fall, Caesars reached a deal to sell Tropicana Evansville to Bally’s Entertainment. In December, it announced plans to sell Caesars Southern Indiana in Elizabeth to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

It now must find a buyer for Horseshoe Hammond by the end of this year.

“World” Class Poker Room

The Indiana Grand’s expansion will include a World Series of Poker-themed live poker room. The 5,000-square-foot poker room will contain 20 tables.

But officials at the casino said the connection to the poker tournament series will be deeper than just branding. The poker room will allow for players to qualify for WSOP land-based tournaments, including the coveted Main Event.

Work on the expansion is slated to start in two weeks, and the company expects it to be ready by the end of the year.