The Hard Rock casino has agreed to a partnership with Spectacle Entertainment, which is a casino operator. The two have signed a letter of intent, and intend to work together in Indiana on the proposed casino in Terre Haute.
A couple of new Hard Rock casinos could be arriving in two of the newest American markets for legalized sports betting, Illinois and Indiana. With the Spectacle Entertainment partnership, the two Hard Rock-branded casinos would be coming to the market in Indiana.
The Indiana General Assembly approved a casino in Terre Haute, though it is still pending approval in Vigo County. The county's voters will decide on a referendum in the Nov. 5 election. If the measure passes, the last step would be a $100 million investment.
Keep in mind that even if the casino is approved in the referendum, the Indiana Gaming Commission has to still select the operator from the ones contending -- so the Hard Rock/Spectacle partnership would have to compete for the casino.
Indiana lawmakers gave the greenlight to legalize sports betting and casino expansion on April 26 and since then, there has been a rush to the state to see who gets in first. The new Terre Haute casino was approved and two riverboat casinos in Gary, Indiana, were approved to join into one property on dry land.
Spectacle owns and operates those two riverboats, so it could be in a good good position to win the bid in Terre Haute given that the company already has a working relationship with the state.
The idea of partnering with Hard Rock gives the new potential casino in Indiana some credibility as the name comes with familiarity and cache.
One of the reasons that the Indiana lawmakers have moved fast on legalization is because Illinois has passed its own law legalizing sports betting and will be adding six casinos in the state. A number will be in Danville, Illinois, which is just 60 miles away from Terre Haute.
Of course, Indiana hopes to keep its customers but if Vigo County voters don’t approve the casino in the referendum in November, they can expect Illinois to start poaching a number of their players.
Spectacle is hoping that the Hard Rock partnership is enough to convince the state to give it a license as Hard Rock is a well-known brand in the industry. If they build the casino and do it right, it could make their gambling option in Terre Haute more appealing than what will be offered in Illinois.
As mentioned, a lot of this is still up in the air. The next step will be for the citizens in Vigo County to decide if they want a casino. That will be on the ballot during the November election. After that, the state will have to decide who gets the license and the opportunity to operate in Terre Haute.