Horseshoe Southern Indiana receives permission to build land-based casino

INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) -- For two decades, gamblers in southern Indiana have been boarding a boat to make their wagers, but that will soon change. 

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

On Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment -- which owns Horseshoe Southern Indiana -- was granted permission from the Indiana Gaming Commission to move inland.

The vote was unanimous; the Harrison County Planning Commission gave its unanimous approval in January.

During Tuesday's presentation, commissioners were told there would be very little demolition involved, and the new facility would be high enough to avoid river flooding. 

The casino and hotel closed for several days after flooding in late February. 

The proposal would move gambling operations across Hwy. 111, next to the existing parking garage. 

Tuesday's presentation emphasized that the new facility would make use of natural light to give it an open feel. There would also be large spaces for concerts and events. 

"So the proposal is to build a new 85,000 square foot building adjacent to our casino parking garage," said Brad Seigel, the general manager at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. "That new building will connect to our existing pavilion. In our terms, that's where our restaurants are housed."

A rendering depicts what the new casino would look like. Seigel estimates the new facility will cost between $80 to $85 million and could be completed by this time next year. 

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