Gary casino owner only applicant for state approval to operate new Terre Haute casino

Wednesday 4th December 2019

GARY -- The owner of Gary's Majestic Star casinos on Lake Michigan, and its future land-based Hard Rock Casino, is likely to be selected to develop a new casino in Terre Haute.

Spectacle Entertainment was the only company to submit an application for the Vigo County casino license prior to Monday's deadline, according to Sara Tait, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Records show Spectacle also was the only gaming entity to receive approval from Vigo County for a local development agreement that's required to accompany the application.

Under Indiana law, the gaming commission now must evaluate the potential economic benefits, tax revenue, new jobs and $100 million minimum investment, among other factors, in deciding whether to award the Terre Haute owner's license to Spectacle.

Preliminary plans show Spectacle intends to develop a "Rocksino" at a land-based site in Terre Haute that carries the Hard Rock Casino brand of its future $300 million Gary casino to the smaller development near the Illinois border in west-central Indiana.

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The Rocksino will have, in addition to up to 1,500 slot machines and table game seats, a Hard Rock Cafe, buffet restaurant, a center bar and a Club Velvet entertainment venue, plans show.

In contrast, the Hard Rock Casino Gary will feature a gaming floor with up to 2,764 slot machines and table game seats, a sports book, a Hard Rock Cafe, a 2,000-seat Hard Rock Live music performance venue, and numerous restaurants and bars.

Spectacle hopes to open the new Gary casino at 29th Avenue and Burr Street, adjacent to the Borman Expressway, by Dec. 31, 2020.

Phase II of the project, estimated to begin construction in 2022 or 2023, calls for attaching a 200-room hotel and parking garage to the Gary casino.

The relocations were made possible by House Enrolled Act 1015, enacted in May, which consolidated the two Majestic Star casino boats onto a single owner's license, and reallocated the second Gary license to Terre Haute after Vigo County voters endorsed casino gambling at a Nov. 5 referendum.

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