ELIZABETH, Ind. – The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — which expects approval of its purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana this fall — announced on Wednesday, May 12 the creation of EBCI Holdings, LLC (EBCI) and its management team and board. The new leadership plans to retain all 700-plus employees at the Elizabeth, Ind. casino, located just outside Louisville, Ky.
EBCI was established to diversify the tribe’s holdings in the commercial gaming and hospitality business as opportunities present themselves throughout the United States and elsewhere. The Caesars purchase is EBCI’s first casino outside North Carolina.
The venture named former regional president for Caesars Entertainment R. Scott Barber as Chief Executive Officer, and Adele Jacobs-Madden, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, as chief financial officer.
Subject to required regulatory approvals from the Indiana Gaming Control Commission and certain other conditions expected later this year, EBCI will make its initial investment with the acquisition of Caesars Southern Indiana from Caesars Entertainment. EBCI agreed to purchase the casino’s operations from Caesars for $250 million in late December 2020.
At closing, EBCI has agreed to enter into a triple-net lease with a subsidiary of VICI Properties Inc. (“VICI”) with respect to the real property associated with Caesars Southern Indiana. Initial total annual rent under the lease with VICI will be $32.5 million and the lease will have an initial term of 15 years, with four 5-year tenant renewal options. The tenant’s obligations under the lease will be guaranteed by EBCI.
As part of the purchase agreement, EBCI Holdings will retain Caesars’ branding for the casino and maintain the popular Caesars loyalty program, Caesars Rewards. EBCI Holdings, LLC will operate the casino. Most importantly, EBCI plans to offer the entire team of current employees the opportunity to remain in their current positions, including general manager Brad Seigel, the management team and over 700 additional employees.
“Caesars Southern Indiana is a beautiful facility with a well-established brand and a superb team of hundreds of local employees already in place. We want to keep the same friendly, fun, familiar environment for our guests,” said Barber. “Our intent is to build on the facility’s success and offer guests additional opportunities to play at EBCI’s Harrah’s-branded North Carolina properties while also having access to all properties throughout the Caesars Rewards network.”
Barber has nearly three decades of experience in the gaming industry, including more than 20 years with Caesars Entertainment. His career began in Las Vegas and included stints across the Southeast, Midwest and East. Most recently, Barber served as Caesars’ regional president, overseeing the Horseshoe Tunica and Tunica Roadhouse properties in Mississippi, Harrah’s Cherokee Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River properties in North Carolina, Harrah’s Kansas City in Missouri, Harrah’s Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Horseshoe Baltimore in Maryland.
Madden brings more than 20 years of casino experience to her role as CFO. She currently serves as the regional vice president of finance and hospitality for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. She also sits on the Cherokee Indian Hospital Board as treasurer.
Barber and Madden will report to a five-member board of directors made up of seasoned executives from the gaming industry.
- Tom Jenkin, director and chairman, former Global President of Caesars;
- Ray Rose, director and vice chairman, former regional VP of resort operations at Harrah’s Cherokee and former Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise Board of Advisors chairman;
- Cory Blankenship, director, chair of Finance & Strategy Committees, Secretary of Treasury of EBCI;
- Susan Carletta, director, chair of Audit & Compliance Committees, former SVP, deputy general counsel and chief regulatory & compliance officer of Caesars; and
- David Satz, Director, chair of HR/Nominating/Compensation Committees, former SVP of government relations and development of Caesars.
Along with Madden, two board members — Rose and Blankenship — are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The other members are independent directors.
“We are pleased with EBCI’s initial acquisition and the possibility of growing our reach into other markets,” Barber said. “We are looking forward to entering the well-established southern Indiana/Louisville market and to attracting guests from around the region to our world-class resort in southern Indiana.”
– EBCI Holdings, LLC release