Opinion Article Submitted by Eli Moore
Do not panic Terre Haute. The palms, wheels, and butts of everyone involved in the Spectacle Gaming Deal have been greased for some time. Nobody Cares.
This is a non story, fake news if you will. The basics of it are that a group of rich dudes that worked for Centaur Gaming did some greasy stuff and made illegal campaign contributions. They were successful and are now the owners and executives of Spectacle Entertainment. They bought a couple of failing Riverboats and lobbied the State to allow them to move them off the water in Gary. They succeeded. One is going to be next to the interstate in Gary, and the other in Terre Haute.
They greased the Governor, the Speaker, assemblymen, and WHO cares who else. Nobody cares. Terre Haute wants its casino money to fund projects that growth and industry are never going to bring. Terre Haute needs the Casino to fill revenue gaps in City and County spending. It’s going to happen. The lion share of profits will go to the wheel greasers, of course, but trickle down geebs will allow the City and County to hand out pay raises to public employees, and fund local government spending. Terre Haute will not let millions of dollars in gambling revenue slip away. Sen. Jon Ford and Mayor Duke Bennett will get this Federal Court Case in Virginia cleaned up with the light of the Lord on their side. Most of that same grease brought a convention center that will eat away at the Ohio Building, The Landing, Zorah, Idle Creek, and every other business that currently host gatherings of several hundred people. Too bad for them. Sorry losers. You win some, you lose some, and if your business was based on hosting reunions, weddings, meetings, and events, you lose. You cannot compete against a tax payer funded convention center that is using food and beverage taxes to fund its operation. Don’t cry about, just move on. Maybe turn your venues into homeless shelters, or alternative lifestyle nightclubs.
Do not panic Terre Haute. Yes, a little investigation is taking place, Yes, a few people are going to prison, but it is only because of a Federal Court Case in the Eastern District of Virginia brought some charges against a few of the founders of Spectacle. Probably the result of a snitch that got their feelings hurt because folks back in Indiana play by a different set of rules…
As Vigo County Commissioner Brad Anderson puts it, and I’m paraphrasing: you know, it was, you know 2015, you know no mention of Spectacle or anything like that, so we just want the investment Spectacle was willing to pay, and jobs… Brad Anderson is right. We just want the money Spectacle was willing to pay.
One or Two guys will do a little jail time, but the Indiana Gaming Commission is a puppet of the Governor and Spectacle is “very close friends” with the Governor and has been for 30 years. The Indiana Gaming Commission is forced to do a mock investigation because of the Federal charges. They might even shake loose a little more money in the process. Win/Win. This will all go away soon enough and this ugly little “speedbump in the road” as the mayor calls it, will just be another body buried under freshly poured asphalt. 🙂