Feedback Regarding Terre Haute Casino Under Consideration

Exterior perspective, Terre Haute Casino, Indiana

A public comment period for the Terre Haute Casino has ended with the Indiana Gaming Commission reviewing the data before making a licensing decision.

The Indiana Gaming Commission has its hands full. The regulator has received over 200 comments regarding a casino license in Vigo County that should be distributed this week. The Terre Haute casino proposal is under consideration and regulators wanted to see what the public thinks about the proposal before moving forward.

Decision Coming This Week

In October, the Commission announced that public comments were welcome regarding the casino opportunity. There are four bidders in the mix to build a casino in or close to Terre Haute. This past Friday was the deadline for such comments to be submitted.

The Commissioners will meet later this week to view presentations from each bidder. It is expected that members of the Commission will make the license decision after the presentations have been submitted and consideration given to each proposal.

Local residents and business owners decided to provide comments on the new casino as well as labor unions and businesses located outside the area. The four bidders for the casino include Full House Resorts, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Premier Gaming Group, and Hard Rock International. It seems that most of the commenters are in support of the Hard Rock plan.

The plan by Hard Rock for a casino in the area received around 70 comments in support of the project. The Hard Rock proposal has also been supported by the Vigo County Council and Chamber of Commerce in Terre Haute.

Why Hard Rock?

It seems that the Hard Rock plan has local support because a local is involved. Greg Gibson, a local businessman in the area, is part of the Hard Rock Rocksino investment team. Back in 2018, Gibson created Spectacle Entertainment with Rod Ratcliff. The company purchased the Majestic Star Casino located in Gary, Indiana and the next year was given legislative support to move the licenses of two boat casinos to a land location.

By 2019, lawmakers in Indiana passed a law that required Spectacle to give up its second license and it was given to Vigo County, where Terre Haute is located. The option was up for voter referendum, and residents approved the move.

By the end of 2019, Spectacle was the only company to apply for the casino license in Vigo County and said they would work with Hard Rock. This peaked the interest of locals and has been the casino everyone has been expecting for quite some time.

A few issues arose surrounding Radcliff and he ended up giving up his gaming license and position in the company, which put the plan on Gibson’s shoulders. By May 2020, the approved license had not resulted in construction of a casino, so the Commission decided not to renew.

Gibson has appealed the non-renewal decision and the Commission is supposed to meet and decide this week if it will settle the case. Last September, Hard Rock made its bid for the license and announced its partner was Gibson.

So, essentially, the Hard Rock may get the license after all, even though the back and forth has taken place. many supporters of the project want to see a local connected to it. Some even argue that residents approved the referendum because the Hard Rock casino was connected to Gibson.

We shall see in the coming days how the proposals are received and which company the Commission decides to give the license to. Will it be Hard Rock or perhaps another company?

Associate Writer: Simon loves to bet on sports as well as play online slots, and he has a keen eye for sorting out the honest sites from the not so honest.