The state of Indiana is one of the latest states to offer expanded gambling, and that includes sports betting. It now appears that a state of the art casino is set to be built in Terre Haute, Ind., giving residents another great location to play at.
The Indiana Gaming Commission held a vote on Friday to determine whether or not they would be granting a casino license to the city of Terre Haute. The commission spent a lot of time discussing the issue, and they unanimously voted to approve the granting of the license.
The group looking to build the new casino is led by a businessman that is a native of Terre Haute, a community in the west central portion of the state. Greg Gibson is the leader of the Spectacle Jack LLC group that has applied for the casino license.
Spectacle Jack has partnered with Hard Rock International, and they will be the group that is operating the casino. The estimated cost of the project is set at $120 million.
Now that they have been granted the casino license, they are expected to break ground on the construction process in September of this year. The hope is that the casino will be up and running by September of 2021, barring any major setbacks in the construction process.
The new casino is set to become one of the biggest and best locations in Indiana, with several terrific options for patrons. The casino will house more than 1,150 slots and more than 50 table games.
A vote on this casino was expected to be delivered more than three months ago, but there was some controversy that came with this project. The vote was delayed after it was determined that two members of the management team were involved in a federal investigation regarding illegal campaign contributions.
These two members of the management group sold their stake in the project to Spectacle Jack LLC, which then became the parent company behind this endeavor. Spectacle Jack was able to completely revamp the proposal, although many of the main plans remained the same.
The Indiana Gaming Commission was quick to point out that this license would not have been granted if the two members did not sell their stake to Gibson. Gibson and his group were forced to revise their initial application and submit it to the IGC.
Rod Ratcliff and John Keeler were the two men that sold their stake in the project to Gibson, and they likely saved the project entirely. Ratcliff was the chairman of Spectacle Entertainment, and Gibson was a former state lawmaker and executive at Spectacle Entertainment.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Gaming Commission is still investigating both Ratcliff and Keeler. The issue at question happened more than five years ago, but it has already landed several prominent figures in the state in jail.
When the state of Indiana expanded its gaming laws last year, the city of Terre Haute was expected to submit a bid for a casino. Gibson noted that he did not anticipate getting involved in a project of this magnitude and that he was happy that the process was over.
Terre Haute is located in Vigo County, Ind., and voters in the county had to first approve a referendum to allow a casino to be built. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, leading to Spectacle Jack LLC to start the application process.
The casino is expected to generate more than 700 construction jobs as well as create 700 new jobs when the casino opens. The community of Terre Haute estimates that the casino will rejuvenate the economy, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.