Horseshoe Southern Indiana facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Horseshoe Southern Indiana from west.jpg
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Address 11999 Casino Center Dr. SE
Elizabeth, Indiana 47117
Opening date November 20, 1998
Theme Western/Riverboat
No. of rooms 503
Total gaming space 93,000-square-foot (8,600 m2)
Notable restaurants Jack Binion's Steak House
Casino type Riverboat
Owner Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Previous names Caesars Indiana (1998-2008)
Renovated in 2006-2008
Website Horseshoe South Indiana

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Horseshoe Southern Indiana (formerly Caesars Indiana), which locals often simply call "The Boat," is a riverboat casino operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Opened in 1998, it is located outside the community of Elizabeth, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The complex is located at the Harrison County line. This is the closest legal gambling location to Louisville and the large Southern Indiana cities because casino gambling is not allowed in neighboring Floyd County.

The complex includes the four-deck riverboat (known as The Glory of Rome), which houses the gaming area; it is the largest riverboat in the United States, and the world's largest riverboat casino. Other amenities include a hotel, a pavilion, 7 restaurants and a showroom, two parking decks, and a golf course. Steelman Partners designed the riverboat, podium, and hotel.

Construction and Caesars era

On November 8, 1994, a ballot proposal to allow riverboat gambling was passed by the residents of Harrison County, Indiana, following legislation passed by the General Assembly to allow such gambling in the Hoosier state. In January 1995 five different proposals were given to the Indiana Gaming Commission in order to begin a riverboat gambling organization in Harrison County. Over a year passed before the proposition by the partnership of the ITT Corporation's Caesars division and Riverboat Development Incorporated (RDI) was approval, granting the Caesars World/Riverboat Development Incorporated partnership the preliminary license in May 1996.

The initial plan of the Caesars World/Riverboat Development Incorporated partnership was for the complex to cost $228 million, but by early 1998 the projected cost was raised to $275 million. They chose a site near Bridgeport, Indiana, an unincorporated town located immediately on the Harrison County side of the Harrison County/Floyd County border; the site is fifteen miles (24 km) southwest of Louisville, Kentucky (Kentucky's largest metropolis), and was selected after performing a study to determine the nearest accessible location (to the city) that would permit a riverboat casino to operate legally. Louisville officials attempted to delay the construction of Caesars Indiana, who wanted to protect the gambling revenue of Churchill Downs and other Kentucky horse racing interests. Environmental groups lodged similar complaints due to concerns regarding the potential negative impact of the proposed development on local air quality, waterways, and wildlife. The Caesars World/Riverboat Development Incorporated partnership had already spent $11 million on making necessary improvements to use the newly acquired property. A preliminary study by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in February 1998 determined that further environmental studies, which would have delayed the building of the necessary facilities for Caesars Indiana, were not necessary. However, the United States Army Corps of Engineers did caution the Caesars World/Riverboat Development Incorporated partnership to carefully consider the number of trees to be cleared and the impact on runoff water.

Caesars Indiana was finally opened to the public on November 20, 1998. The riverboat was initially slated to begin operating in the Summer of 1998, but interference by three different Indiana environmental groups issuing lawsuits, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (due to the United States Army Corps of Engineers concluding that a full environmental study was unnecessary), and heavy rains in the Spring of 1998 delayed the opening. A very important person cruise on November 16, 1998, was the first sailing of the riverboat.

Caesars indiana
Horseshoe Southern Indiana shown as Caesars riverboat and complex in 2007

Since 1998, Caesars Indiana has employed 2,400 people. It has been studied that Caesars Indiana has cost the state of Kentucky $12 million in lottery revenue on an annual basis. Because the original charter of the Colony of Virginia gave Virginia ownership of the entire Ohio River, which now forms the border between Kentucky and Indiana, Kentucky (which was split from Virginia in 1792) claims ownership of the entire river, and has often threatened to stop operations of riverboat casinos on the Ohio in neighboring states. Notably, a resolution proposed in the Kentucky House in 2002 called for "the purchase of a submarine to patrol the waters of the Commonwealth and search and destroy all casino riverboats." However, the non-binding resolution never came up for a vote, and its sponsor said the resolution was in jest, and to protest Kentucky's continued prohibition of gambling.

From June 7 to June 19, 1999, Caesars Indiana was shut down due to a river barge hitting the riverboat and due to excessive silt at its mooring site. It shut down again from March 20 to the 23rd in 2008 due to unusually high river levels. High river levels again caused them to close in March 2011, April 2011 and March 2015, each for a handful of days.

As part of its continual existence, the State of Indiana requires Caesars Indiana to give money to two different foundations in Harrison and Floyd Counties.

In recent years, Caesars Indiana has co-sponsored Thunder Over Louisville.

An April 18, 2008 Illinois earthquake caused Caesars to lose electrical power, and having to rely on backup generators.


The main focus of the Horseshoe Southern Indiana complex is a riverboat, a four-story boat that is the largest riverboat in North America. It is also the largest riverboat casino in the world. It cost $50 million to construct. It is 452 feet (138 m) long, 100 feet (30 m) wide, with a total area of 173,200 square feet (16,090 m2). It has four 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) Z-Drives. The smokestacks rise 100 feet (30 m) from the waterline, with eight feet below the waterline. The riverboat has 93,000-square-foot (8,600 m2) of casino space with a maximum capacity of 5,030 "persons" (passengers and crew combined), with 3,600 gaming positions, 2,800 slot machines, and over 140 gaming tables.

In a year 2000 study by the state of Indiana, 51.4% of casino employees are female, 12.9% are minorities, and 42.3% of employees coming from places other than Harrison, Floyd, and Clark County, Indiana. Only 30% of the 4.5 million admissions to the casino were of Indiana residents. There were 68 arrests that year, mostly due to public drunkenness.

Besides the riverboat, Horseshoe Southern Indiana also includes a nature preserve, four restaurants, conference center, hotel, shopping center, and a nearby golf course with an equestrian theme called Chariot Run.

Due to the ownership of Caesars World having changed hands, Caesars Indiana was run by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Incorporated, and then to Park Place Entertainment Corporation. It is currently owned by Harrah's.

Since the Indiana legislature voted in 2002 to allow casino riverboats to dock permanently, the riverboat no longer leaves the dock.

However, in order to keep the Certificate of Inspection issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, the vessel must prove to U.S. Government inspectors the M/V Glory of Rome is seaworthy and capable of getting underway under its own power. This cruise takes place every year; in addition, U.S. Coast Guard inspectors conduct quarterly safety inspections.


Bus shuttles to Horseshoe Southern Indiana from Indianapolis and Louisville are made available, with reservations available.

The facility includes a four-level parking garage, and is primarily accessed by Indiana 111. Although it is located directly across the river from Southwest Louisville, due to the lack of a bridge, Louisvillians must drive north first through New Albany to reach Horseshoe. During various parts of the planning of the Ohio River Bridges Project, a bridge connecting Louisville directly to Indiana 111 has been proposed, with a primary advantage being easier access to Horseshoe. However, as of 2008, no plans existed for such a bridge.

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