IGC releases Vigo County casino proposals from the four applicants

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The deadline for submitting an application and proposal to the Indiana Gaming Commission to build a casino in Vigo County was at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, and the IGC said they received submissions from four applicants.

Applicants were required to submit a proposal to the commission detailing “the proposed gaming facilities and proposed nongaming amenities, including any lodging facilities, dining facilities and retail facilities, at the proposed casino” as well as pay a $50,000 fee. Existing Indiana casino owners had to submit a new application, but could reference their one on file with the IGC.

  • CDITH, LLC (Churchill Downs)
  • FHR-Atlas LLC (Full House Resorts, Inc.)
  • HR Terre Haute, LLC (Hard Rock)
  • Terre Haute Entertainment, LLC (Premier Gaming Group and Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC)

According to the IGC, the intention of the application is for Vigo County to benefit from casino operation, and it is the commission’s responsibility to “ensure realization of that goal.” They also said it is their top priority to issue the license as soon as possible.

What happened to Lucy Luck gaming?

The application process for a Vigo County casino reopened on July 1 after the IGC denied an operating license renewal from the previous chosen applicant, Lucy Luck Gaming. According to the official order document from the June 24 ruling, the IGC found Lucy Luck to be ineligible for license renewal after “extensive review and considering all statutory and regulatory qualifications for renewal”.

The IGC also expressed concern that Lucy Luck’s financing was incomplete. It was also noted that an executive team has not yet been established.

What happens now?

According to public documents, the IGC will now conduct investigations on the applicants and then determine a date “for Commission action at a business meeting.”

IGC Executive Director Greg Small said the commission is happy with the results of the application process.

“We are very pleased with the level of interest in the Vigo County casino license and look forward to a competitive selection process,” Small said in a statement to WTWO. “The work to evaluate these proposals begins immediately, with the goal of setting a Commission meeting date for official action before the end of the year.”

Who are these applicants?

Applicant Churchill Downs, a company that operates several horseracing tracks in Kentucky and casinos in Illinois, Ohio and Florida, sent out a news release detailing their casino plans Wednesday. Churchill Downs’ proposal to the IGC said the venue, named the “Queen of Terre Haute,” would feature up to 1,000 slot machines and 50 table games as well as a 125-room hotel with a rooftop bar.

According to Churchill Downs’ proposal to the IGC, the casino will feature a steakhouse, VIP gaming area, sports wagering, casual dining and a coffee shop amongst other amenities. The proposal says the company plans to build a venue with approximately 56,400 square feet of gaming space that is estimated to hold 6,600 people with the Hotel at the Queen of Terre Haute adding capacity for another estimated 900 people.

Full House Resorts, a Las Vegas-based operator that owns five casinos in four states, also submitted an application to build a casino they have named “American Place”. The company already operates one casino through the IGC in Rising Sun, Ind. called “Rising Star Casino and Resort”.

Full House’s proposal to the IGC said the planned address for its casino is 5995 Margaret Avenue in Terre Haute. The proposed gaming venue would include four main areas: a casino, a hotel, a greenhouse and a rooftop dining and drinking area. The budget for the proposed project is $250 million.

The third applicant, the Florida-based Hard Rock International, is the owner and operator of the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant chain as well as a series of hotels and resorts. The company now also operates a casino through the IGC after taking over the “Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana” in Gary, Ind.

Hard Rock’s submitted IGC proposal lays out plans for a casino venue they call “Rocksino Terre Haute” that would include 850 slot machines, 35 gaming tables, six restaurants and bars, a 300-person capacity entertainment showroom and a 1,000 square foot Rock Shop for retail.

The final applicant, Premiere Gaming Group, operates a multitude of gaming venues across the US, according to the company website, including riverboat gaming operations, racinos, hotels, resorts and slot routes.

On the IGC’s list of applicants, it says Premiere Gaming has partnered with a group titled “Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC,” however it is unknown at this time who operates that group.

The Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC’s proposal to the IGC includes plans to construct an 800 slot machine, 20 table gaming area at the center of a casino. The group also detailed plans to construct a hotel, sportsbook area, restaurants, bars, an outdoor pool and a wellness trail.

The proposals from Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings, Hard Rock and Churchill Downs, which were made public by the IGC Thursday, did not include a planned location or construction budget for their casinos.

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