Terre Haute Casino Resort Reveals Casino and Hotel Opening Dates

It was recently reported that Terre Haute Casino Resort, owned by Churchill Downs Inc., has revealed via Facebook the opening dates for Terre Haute’s latest casino and hotel. In addition, the scheduled opening date for the casino is April 5, and the scheduled opening for the adjoining hotel is May 15.

Grand opening celebration:

The grand opening celebration of the casino is scheduled for the mentioned date at 10:30 AM. After that, the casino will operate 24 hours a day.

Relatedly, the deluxe hotel, which includes 10 floors and which is expected to have nearly 125 rooms, and a casino, end up off Margaret Avenue on the east side of the city, relatively close to the intersection of Margaret and Indiana 46. As for the layout, the casino will include 34 gaming tables, 1,000 slot machines and 9 beverage and food venues.

Commenting on the upcoming opening, Brandon Sakbun, mayor of Terre Haute, commented: “While I am ecstatic that a new tourist attraction is coming to our city, I recognize the safety and transportation concerns associated with the opening of Terre Haute’s casino. You don’t have to be secretary of transportation to understand that an estimated 1.1 million incoming visitors may create traffic concerns.”

Additionally, he added: “Moreover, the incoming casino dollars will provide resources to address some of our many city services like paving, sidewalk improvement, parks upgrades, and improved equipment for city staff to deliver for the people of Terre Haute. I am looking forward to continuing to tap into the potential of the east side of Terre Haute along with the rest of our city.”

Speaking on the same topic, Mark Clinkenbeard, Vigo County Commissioner, said according to the Tribune-Star: “We’re thrilled that we have a date for the opening of the casino, with the hotel opening to follow. We’re excited to see how this will benefit our community. This is another piece to the puzzle of economic development for Vigo County.”

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As soon as the opening date was revealed, attempts to contact representatives of the Churchill Downs and Terre Haute failed.

A lengthy road full of obstacles:

After few failed tries, Indiana officially made casino gambling legal during 1993, but just for riverboats. In addition, the riverboat restriction was removed by the Indiana General Assembly back in 2015, which permitted land-based gambling.

But the city of Terre Haute stays the final metropolitan region of Indiana which doesn’t have a casino.

Back in 2018, Greg Gibson, a Terre Haute businessman, co-founded Spectacle Entertainment with Rod Ratcliff, an experienced gaming executive from Indiana. For the aforementioned firm, John Keeler has assumed the role of general counsel. Then, during November of the same year, Spectacle Ent. officially bought Majestic Star Casino, a casino operation on 2 boats which is headquartered in Gary.

Moreover, during early 2019, Eric Holcomb, governor of Indiana, officially signed into law House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1015, which is an omnibus gaming legislation authored by then-state Sen. Jon Ford of Terre Haute. Beside other things, that legislation permitted 1 of 2 Majestic Star gaming licenses to be transported from the northwest of the state to Vigo County.

During November of the same year, voters of the Vigo County validated the casino in a referendum, as requested by HEA 1015. Then in December 2019, Spectacle entered into an alliance with Hard Rock Int. for the fresh casino in said county, and they were the sole applicants who wanted a license during that period.

However, prior to the Indiana Gaming Commission rewarding a license, it found out about about a federal inquiry connected to Ratcliff’s previous gaming firm called Centaur Gaming. In this regard, federal authorities listed that the firm’s money was non-legally channeled into the Republican Brent Waltz’s failed congressional campaign in 2016. In addition to other consequences, Keeler and Ratcliff were compelled to withdraw from Spectacle.

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To set up the Vigo County casino lodivip , Gibson then formed the new firm called Lucy Luck Gaming and was rewarded a casino license. But Lucy Luck was stripped of that license during June 2021 after the license has been declared ineligible for renewal by the Gaming Commission. In this regard, the Commission commented that a qualified executive team wasn’t in place and that the resources for Lucy Luck were insufficient.

On a related note, during November 2021, the Commission chose Churchill Downs Inc. to obtain a casino license for Vigo County.