Two major decisions were made this week regarding casino gaming in the state of Indiana. The state Gaming Commission had to decide if Caesars would be able to maintain its Horseshoe Hammond Casino. Also on the table was the license for a casino in Terre Haute. Unfortunately, the Commission decided to pull the casino license from Lucy Luck Gaming LLC. Caesars was lucky though and was allowed to continue operating the Hammond venue.
Terre Haute License Revoked
The Commission decided to vote unanimously to revoke the Terre Haute casino license held by Lucy Luck Gaming LLC. Because of the ruling, the casino license will be up for bid once more. The license was first held by Spectacle Entertainment’s subsidiary Spectacle Jack. The company had plans to create a Hard Rock casino in the region.
However, the project had several issues and a scandal emerged soon after the company was awarded the license. By January 2020, an investigation was opened by the Commission and it led to several changes, including Rod Ratcliff being forced to sell his stake in the company. The shares were sold to Greg Gibson and the company became Lucy Luck.
The plan was for Lucy Luck to continue with plans to create a Hard Rock-themed casino. The transfer of the license was approved by May of last year. It was soon after that Lucy Luck started to have problems. Information was not provided by the company as to who would hold $57 million notes for the casino. This would be a third of the cost for the casino.
During the meeting, Gibson was chastised by Commission members and was told that everything should have been in order so the construction process could begin. The regulators will seek new applications for the license over a three-month period. Lucky Luck will have the opportunity to remedy its shortcoming so it can be eligible for renewal.
Caesars Approved for Horseshoe Hammond
On the flip side, Caesars Entertainment was approved to retain its ownership of the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. The Commission had previously told the company that it needed to sell a third casino asset in Indiana. The company owns Harrah’s Hoosier Park, the Hammond venue, and the Indiana Grand.
The matter was placed on the Commissions docket for the week, but additional details were not provided as to why the decision change. It was reported that the company had been trying to convince the Commission to allow it to keep the Hammond venue.
After Caesars had planned the merger with Eldorado Resorts, which is now completed, the Commission told Caesars it had to sell three of its five casinos in the state by the end of 2020. The casino operator was going to sell the Hammond casino, Tropicana Evansville, and the Southern Indiana venue.
The pandemic caused the Commission to agree to allow the sale more time for the Hammond venue. While more time was granted, Caesars eventually felt like it would be better to keep ownership. In the end, that wish was granted and Caesars now looks forward to remaining positioned for a strong and exciting future in the state’s gaming industry.