LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Riverboat gambling just became a thing of the past in Southern Indiana. Thursday was opening day for Caesars Southern Indiana, southwest of New Albany.
The $90 million land-based casino replaces the Horseshoe Riverboat.
Caesars Southern Indiana is bigger, flashier and, management expects, more profitable than the old Riverboat.
“It is just much better customer experience,” Tony Rodio, Caesars Entertainment CEO, said. “If anybody’s been on the boat and then seen this, it is so much more convenient as far as the distance you have to walk from the parking garage to the facility. It’s so much more spacious, so much more roomy. There are so many more non-gaming amenities as far as restaurants and bars and the food hall. I mean, this is like a mini-Vegas experience compared to what the three-level riverboat offered.”
Customers at the Thursday opening agreed.
“It’s definitely different. I don’t know where our favorite machines are yet, but we will definitely find them,” Pat Koogler said.
“It’s really modern and bright,” Tom Koogler said. “We haven’t been to Vegas, but it’s just a Vegas-type experience you see here. It’s much closer.”
The Indiana legislature changed the law to allow operations to move off the river and onto dry land.
The casino has 70 gaming tables and over 1,000 slot machines. There’s also a large sports betting area, also recently legalized by the state of Indiana.