The Indiana Gaming Commission has reopened the license application process for a Vigo County casino after choosing not renew Lucy Luck Gaming’s license to build and operate a gambling venue in Terre Haute.
The regulator on Monday posted a press release on its official website informing interested applicants that they must pay a $50,000 application fee and use the Commission’s Casino License Application form to express their interest in participating in the process.
The Monday notice reads that current Indiana casino license holders must submit their application and fee but may also cross-reference to their existing application with the gaming regulatory agency.
The commission further noted that all submitted applications will be publicly disclosed documents. The deadline for submitting the necessary paperwork and related proposals for the Vigo County casino is September 22, it also became known.
After the application window closes, gaming commissioners will conduct investigations into all submitted proposals and the applicants behind them. Once all probes are completed, regulators will determine an appropriate date for action at a business meeting.
The commission said in its statement that the future casino establishment is intended to benefit Vigo County and that it is the regulator’s responsibility to ensure the realization of that goal. The notice read further that the commission is committed to “ensuring that the applicant selected for the Vigo County casino meets or exceeds all applicable standards and presents the highest potential for successful operation of a casino.”
License to Be Issued as Quickly as Possible
The Indiana Gaming Commission further noted that it is its top priority to not only ensure a transparent selection process but to also pick its preferred applicant “as expeditiously as possible.”
Terre Haute-based company Lucy Luck Gaming, a subsidiary of casino operator Spectacle Entertainment, previously held the Vigo County casino license. However, the Gaming Commission last week opted not to renew that license, saying that Lucy Luck Gaming had failed to hire an executive team to run its planned gambling venue and had not had full financing secured for the property.
The company planned to invest $175 million into the development of a Hard Rock-branded casino complex in Terre Haute. In March, it informed the Indiana gambling regulator that it had secured a financing package to complete the project.
Lucy Luck Gaming first obtained the license after state lawmakers passed a sweeping gambling reform in 2019 that paved the way for the company’s parent organization, Spectacle Entertainment, to relocate its two Majestic Star riverboat casinos along Gary on dry land.
Spectacle partnered with Hard Rock International to open a land-based casino resort in Gary, using one of its two licenses and returned the other one to the Gaming Commission. The Gary property opened doors in mid-May.
The regulator granted the vacant Majestic Star license to Lucy Luck Gaming to build the Terre Haute casino that would have too been operated in partnership with Hard Rock.
After the agency’s announcement that it would not renew the company’s license and would instead reopen the application process, Lucy Luck Gaming Chairman Greg Gibson said that they were not sure if they would reapply for the right to build the Vigo County casino and that it truly saddened him that “the Terre Haute license will be open for a bidding process amongst companies who will be interested in the project solely for monetary gain, and with companies who don’t know our community like Lucy Luck does.”
Source: Indiana Gaming Commission re-opens Vigo County casino application, Washington Times-Herald, June 29, 2021