On Thursday, June 24, 2021, the Indiana Gaming Commission voted, agreeing that it should not give Terre Haute casino a gaming license. The gaming commission’s decision was motivated by several things.
Terre Haute Casino does not have a leadership team. The casino has also had problems with ownership changes. Lastly, Terre Haute is yet to get a comprehensive financing plan meant to fund its upcoming construction.
The license in question is for a land-based casino based one hour west of Indianapolis. It originally belonged to Spectacle Jack, which was a subsidiary of Spectacle Entertainment.
Spectacle Jack was the sole bidder for the license in west-central Indiana County. The brand planned to own and run a hard rock casino in Terre Haute. But, several weeks after getting the permit, multiple problems came raining down on the company.
First, the Indiana Gaming Commission opened an investigation on Spectacle Entertainment following its founder Rod Ratcliff, who previously led Centaur Gaming. The federal investigation contributed to Rod’s ownership transfer to Greg Gibson. Greg was the co-founder of Spectacle Jack.
With the ownership transfer, Spectacle Jack changed to Lucy Luck. Soon after, the Indiana Gaming Commission agreed to change the operating license from Spectacle Jack to Lucy Luck in May 2020. This meant that Lucy Luck could now progress to build a gaming facility with Hard Rock International.
Financial and Management Problems Also Contributed to Terre Haute Casino Qualification for the License
The federal investigation and indictment of Ratcliff was not the only problem facing Terre Haute casino. Executive director of IGC, Sara Gonso Tait, reported that the casino had interviewed several candidates. However, the interviewer had a suitability question about one interviewee while another was no longer interested in becoming Lucy Luck’s executive member.
The casino did not have a person who could hold $57 million in notes for the casino. This amount is a third of the whole amount needed to fund the casino’s construction costs. But, Gibson said that his company had potential investors for the notes.
As Gibson was explaining the situation, Susan interrupted him. Susan believed that lucy lucks lacked a plan or anything to show their progress. She even criticized Gibson for his company’s failures.
Susan explained that she once worked for Indiana to manage the county’s construction. She highlighted that a company needed to have a ready design and team prior to starting work. According to Susan, Gibson should have all these details laid out.
The License Is Open for Bids
With Lucy Luck failing to get an operating license for a casino, the IGC welcomes new bids. The commission intends to give the operating permit to the most qualified brand in the next three months.
But, the brand might not be interested anymore. Gibson talked to the Terre Haute tribune star and sounded like he did not want to reapply. He said the community of Terre Haute would be glad to have a casino there.
Yet, Gibson was concerned that the bid for the license was open to companies only interested in making profits. He insisted that no other brand understood the needs of the community like Lucy Luck did.
Gibson said that the casino project was something he understood by heart, as he was only interested in the good it could bring. Gibson wished that the community would get a casino with Lucy Luck Gaming.
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