An $85 million investment will transform gambling in southern Indiana. Caesars Entertainment, which owns Horseshoe Southern Indiana, will use the money to build a new building and move gambling from the iconic riverboat to land across Highway 111.

A change in state law three years ago allows gambling on land in Indiana, but casinos must get approval first to make the move.

The company received unanimous approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission on Tuesday.

Horseshoe Southern Indiana General Manager Brad Seigel says it makes sense to build a new state-of-the-art building in that location, even though it often floods.

“The building will be constructed in a way that it won't take any real damage or risk from whatever Mother Nature gives us,” Seigel  said. “It's going to be smartly put together. We can't control Mother Nature, but just by virtue of being built high above the ground, all of our operations will take place at an elevated level.”

The renderings show the casino, restaurants, and entertainment venue and retail outlets.

“Club Envy is our bar in the second level of the riverboat, so the riverboat will close ,” Seigel said. “We will have lots of entertainment, night life, bars for all of our guests.”

The project will renovate existing meeting and convention space. There will be an outdoor balcony, windows for natural light, and a new ventilation system.

“I prefer nonsmoking because I have asthma and it really bugs me,” Horseshoe visitor Lorraine Smith said.  

“When I go to casinos, I like nonsmoking and there's smoking there,” visitor Bernie Smith said.

Seigel says the new building will have smoking and nonsmoking sections.

“The river boat has, by nature of what is, has lower ceilings, so this new building we are going to create will have high ceilings, state-of-the-art ventilation, and I think be able to move the air and we will have expanding nonsmoking sections,” Seigel said.

Seigel says adds it’s likely the riverboat will be sold.

“We would most likely sell the river boat,” he said. “Hopefully there is a willing buyer. It's a great river boat and has served us well for 20 years.”

The plan is to have the building finished by this time next year.

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