(EVANSVILLE, IN) Land-based gaming will be coming to Evansville after the Indiana Gaming Commission unanimously approved the move.

Eyewitness News’ Dennis Ting was in Indianapolis for the big announcement.

It started a year ago right here in Indianapolis, state legislators approving land-based casinos in Indiana, and today, Evansville got the news that Tropicana will be the first to make that move.

“This is big. This is really big for us and also the community,” said Tropicana General Manager John Chaszar.

“All those in favor say aye. Aye. All those opposed? Resolution is adopted.”

It was a unanimous decision. The Indiana Gaming Commission made Tropicana Evansville the state’s first land-based casino. After the Indiana State Legislature passed the land-based gaming bill last year, Tropicana Evansville knew it had to act fast.

“Our engineer estimates that we only had about 5 to 7 more years of life left in our boat, and so this was crucial to us,” said Chaszar.

The casino will move from the riverboat to the riverfront, and with it a massive upgrade with 75,000 square-feet of space filled with restaurants, bars, lounges and of course, slots and table games.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful facility and it just changes everything we know about gaming in Southern Indiana,” said Chaszar, “It puts us on par with a lot of the national casinos.”

But it’s not just the casino that’s excited about the move. The city is also getting in on the action getting $25 million from Tropicana in future lease payments and the more money Tropicana makes, the more the city makes.

“The revenue that the city gets from Tropicana means we’re able to buy police cars, fire trucks, things that we would otherwise have to squeeze the general fund for, so this is good for the city on many, many levels,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

For Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, it’s another crucial part to the downtown development.

“Once it gets underway, you’ll have nearly $200 million in development projects in the downtown simultaneously. I don’t know if that’s ever happened in this city’s history,” said Mayor Winnecke.

The move on shore still has a ways to go, but for now, it’s a chance for both Tropicana and the city to celebrate.

“To see it get to this point where it’s approved by the state’s gaming commission, it’s a banner day for the city,” said Winnecke.

Tropicana says they expect to break ground later this year, and the grand opening will be sometime in late 2017.