Terre Haute News
The Vigo County Commissioners, Vigo County Council, and the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce all sent letters to the Indiana Gaming Commission recommending Hard Rock LLC. for the Terre Haute Casino.
The letters from Commissioners Kearns, Morris, and Switzer emphasize the importance of keeping things “local”.
Hard Rock Internationational released a statement saying that they would be the management company responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Hard Rock Terre Haute casino and are glad to be in a joint venture with Greg Gibson, a Terre Haute native.
Gibson’s other casino company, Lucy Luck, has lost its gaming license for Terre Haute and forced the Indiana Gaming Commission to place the Terre Haute license back up for companies to apply for. Gibson and Lucy Luck are still appealing the IGC’s decision to revoke their license.
The proposal set for by Hard Rock originally called for a $125 million dollar casino to be built.
Full House Resorts, Inc. has also submitted a proposal for the gaming license in Terre Haute.
Vigo County Commissioners and Council Members as well as Chamber of Commerce have not endorsed the plan from Full House.
Full House Resorts wants to invest $250 million dollars in a new Casino complex.
Full House’s proposed design is unique in several respects. The hotel is elevated above an interior greenscape, in a shape resembling a “happy smile.” A majority of the guest rooms are on upper levels and enjoy extended views. Atop the hotel is a pool deck and restaurant, overlooking the Wabash Valley. Along the busy neighboring freeway, Full House plans to build a large greenhouse, offering a lush interior environment. Within the greenhouse, the project would have two restaurants that offer “outdoor” dining, even in winter, as well as venues for weddings and other group events. The world-class casino would be located between the hotel and the greenhouse and offer approximately 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, and a state-of-the-art sportsbook. Atop the casino, the Company has planned for a solar energy farm, which would provide green, sustainable energy for a portion of the complex’s electrical needs.
Full House Resorts was the original architect of plans in 2017 to open a Casino in Terre Haute. Terre Haute Leaders had fully supported them doing it then.
The plan was narrowly defeating in a committee vote by the Indiana Assembly in 2017.
So, what are/were some of things the IGC is to consider:
The rules for deciding which casino operator will get the license to build a casino have been outlined by the Indiana Gaming Commission. The IGC is made up of 7 members appointed by Gov. Holcomb.
Determining the applicant best suited for an owner’s license, the commission shall consider:
- Economic benefits
- tax revenue
- number of new jobs
- whether the applicant plans an investment of at least $100,000,000 with 65% of the owner’s proposed investment for the development of a casino, and 35% of the investment for the development of nongaming amenities
- whether the applicant has a resolution of support from the legislative body of the unit in Vigo County where it seeks to relocate (City Council, County Council, Geeb Council)
- financial stability of applicant
- applicant’s history of community involvement
- any other factor the commission considers appropriate
Lets rewind the clock and see how this transpired and wonder if anyone will take Terre Haute News early predictions.
On Dec. 21, 2016 Indiana State Senator Jon Ford announced that he was introducing a bill in the Indiana General Assembly that would permit Full House Resorts, the owner of Rising Star Casino to relocate some of its permitted but underutilized capacity from Rising Sun IN. to Terre Haute. Full house stated at the time it would build a venue estimated to cost between $100 million and $150 million. The proposal was backed by the Mayor Bennett, the City Council, Vigo County Commissioners and County Council, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and everybody else….so they thought.
Rising Star Casino wanted to move at least 740 of its gaming positions out of the southern Indiana County, Ohio County. New casinos that have opened in Ohio means the Casino in Southern Indiana has to many games not being used.
Less than two months later on Feb. 16 the legislation failed in a 5-5 committee vote. The Public Policy Committee
So, what happened? The committee members who voted it down said that it would put other casino owners in the state at a disadvantage. Impacting revenue in Evansville and not making Rising Star pay a new license fee.
Business Mogul Greg Gibson moved into action.
In March 2018 Greg Gibson formed a company called Spectacle Entertainment.
Gibson immediately launched an impressive lobbying campaign. He successfully bought Majestic Star Riverboat Casinos in Gary. Majestic Star II is the Riverboat Casino built by President Trump in 1996 and was called Trump Princess Casino. It was one of two Riverboat casinos approved for Gary IN. Trump Casino’s and Hotels went bankrupt in 2004 and the Trump Princess Casino was sold to the other casino operator in Gary IN. and renamed the Majestic II.
Gibson then started lobbying the State to allow him to move one river boat license inland to better a location and build a Hard Rock Casino. He gave the other license back to the State and received a $40 million dollar tax credit for doing so. Gibson was also able to get the proposed fees for the New Vigo County License reduced to $5,000,000 to the State, and $2,700,000 in payments to Evansville.
The Gibson lobbing efforts also successfully got a tax funded convention center built next to his Hotel Properties. Gibson’s lobbying efforts included, hiring Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) to do legal work for the Capital Improvement Board, Hiring lawmaker Rep. Jerry Torr (R) to do title work for his casino purchase, flying Gov. Eric Holcomb to Repulican Governor’s Assiociation Events, and using a well funded Casino PAC.
Full House/Rising Star Casino plans to build an RV park in Rising Sun, IN. next to its casino located there.
Terre Haute and Vigo County leaders and residents embraced the idea of a casino.
A referendum passed on Nov. 5th with 63.44% of county voters in favor of an inland casino in Vigo County.
Thank you Full House for the Renewed interest in Terre Haute.
Changes have been made to Indiana Gaming Commission. Terre Haute and Vigo County believe that the bad apple on IGC that put a stop to Spectacle/Lucy Luck/Hard Rock/Gibson casino are no longer on the commission.
Seven letters giving the full support behind the Hard Rock Casino are a necessary component to the licensing process and Hard Rock could arguably propose a tent with some cherry master machines under it and still be the favorite.
The city and county are guaranteed a percentage of revenue from ANY casino operator that is located in Terre Haute.
So why would one offering less of an investment be such a favorite of local politicians and quasi-political arm groups?
You can trust a Terre Haute native to keep the Terre Haute wheels greased. It is a fact of life around Terre Haute and Vigo County and Full House should know this.
Full House Resorts Inc. has announced a public information meeting at Idle Creek Banquet Center, located at 5353 Ryanne Marie Lane in Terre Haute from 7-9 P.M.
Local leaders are not expected to bring empty sacks or carts for gifts and geebs at this time.
TerreHauteNews will try to obtain access to meeting, but we have not received permission yet.
Let’s take a look at some of the business and industries that have historically been controlled by the Mafia — and whether they are still connected today.
- Garbage Hauling/Waste Management
- Carpentry and Construction
- Wind Energy
- Real Estate
- Restaurants and Pizzerias
- Music Recording
Terre Haute rolls the dice a little different than you Vegas Folks.
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