US casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corporation is to acquire privately-owned casino and racetrack operator Centaur Holdings in a US$1.7bn deal as it looks to expand its presence in the Indiana gaming market.

The operator said that Indiana was an attractive region for investment due to favourable economic conditions coupled with a growing state gambling industry.

Centaur Holdings owns and operates a number of casinos and racetracks across the state, attracting 6.5m visitors a year, and maintains a loyalty programme with 1.1m members.

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