The City Council in Gary, Indiana, finalized a development agreement with Spectacle Entertainment LLC last week, banking $6.15 million of annual revenue in the process.
The agreement laid out the economic benefits that the city can expect from the development of a proposed $300 million Hard Rock Casino that’s expected to open by the end of 2020.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the pact will ensure the city receives 3% of the casino’s gross receipts totaling at least $6.15 million per year. The city will also receive 3% of the proceeds from sports betting conducted via mobile betting, once the Indiana Gaming Commission ratifies a contract with a sports betting firm.
As part of the pact Spectacle also agreed to provide $5 million in advance money to the city to help ease a current financial crisis.
Though they would not be drawn on an exact start date, executives at Spectacle Entertainment LLC have suggested that they hoped to break ground on the development as soon as possible.
“We hope to do it this year,” John Keeler, Spectacle vice president and general counsel is quoted as saying. “We’re working on bids for fencing and preliminary site work and continue to do environmental studies.”
“There’s still a sense of urgency,” he added, before suggesting that preliminary work at the 30 acre site of the proposed casino could begin in mid-November.
That urgency stems from the group’s desire to open the doors for Northwest Indiana’s first land-based casino as soon as possible to stave off the threat from rival casinos.
Those rivals will come about as a result of the Illinois legislature’s decision to green light five new facilities in Chicago’s south suburbs, including one that is just 15 miles away from the Gary Hard Rock location.
According to plans and renderings released over the summer, Gary City’s new Hard Rock casino aims to be a “top of the line” facility.
Published by The Northwest Times, the renderings show how the new 225,000-square foot facility will surpass the standards set by current casino operations in the region. Alongside the table games and thousands of slots, guests can enjoy a 120-seat steak house, a 2,000 capacity live music venue and a 10-story Hard Rock hotel.
There will also be a giant neon version of the brand’s iconic electric guitar logo as well as a “superior quality” exterior design to entice customers off of the freeway and into the casino.