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Clairvest-backed Centaur Gaming explores sale: Reuters

Centaur Gaming LLC, a privately owned U.S. casino and horse racing company, is exploring a sale that could value it at more than US$1 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Casino operators have been consolidating in recent years, partly in response to a decline in revenue as gamblers age. Scale gives them more resources to invest in their facilities and become more appealing to a younger demographic.

Indianapolis-based Centaur is working with investment bank Deutsche Bank AG on the sale process, the sources said this week, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. There is no certainty that the process will lead to a deal, the sources added.

Centaur did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Centaur Gaming was founded in 1993 and operates two properties in Indiana, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, which it considers “central Indiana’s premier entertainment destinations.”

It also operates offtrack betting properties that allow gamers to bet on horse races taking place throughout the world.

Centaur acquired the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in 2013 with the help of Canadian private equity firm Clairvest Group.

Each of the properties includes more than 2,000 slot machines and table games, as well as dining outlets and horse racing tracks.

In recent years, the U.S. gambling industry has faced a shake-up as a result of the legalization of gaming in states that used to prohibit it. States that have recently opened themselves to casinos include Maine, Ohio, Kansas and Maryland.

In the last example of deal-making in the sector, Eldorado Resorts Inc completed this week its purchase of Isle of Capri Casinos in a cash and stock deal worth around US$1.7 billion.

Update: Clairvest invested in Centaur Gaming in 2010. Last week, the Toronto investor made its 11th investment in the global gaming industry, putting US$73.7 million to work in Head InfoTech India Pvt Ltd, the operator of India’s Ace2Three.

(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell in New York and Liana B. Baker in San Francisco; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Kraevski/iStock/Getty Images