Indiana Casino Relocation From Gary to Terre Haute Approved

Indiana Casino Relocation From Gary to Terre Haute Approved
By Jake Perper

On Wednesday, some big progress was made in the state of Indiana as the Indiana Gaming Commission approved Spectacle Entertainment’s request to move a Gary Casino inland. It was done with a unanimous vote and this now moves the path forward to submit a bid to build a casino in the Terre Haute area.

Spectacle Entertainment will now have to pay Indiana four annual installment payments totaling $20 million following the request that was moved forward by the Indiana Gaming Commission and the Gary City Council.

Next up on the calendar is a Nov. 5 citywide referendum meeting where the residents of Terre Haute (Vigo County) will vote on whether to go through with the casino approval.

The application process will go through Dec. 1, the Indiana Gaming Commission told The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana. Furthermore, no reported applications have been submitted just yet.

Important Indiana Casino Vote Coming

No. 1 on the ballot is the casino referendum that many hope will pass. Terre Haute radio station WTHI-TV10 said there are signs being held all over town that read “Vote yes for #1” and it is clear steam is picking up with just about two months left.

On Tuesday, there was a public forum that was held with another one done on Wednesday. The top of the discussion dealt with the obvious concern of many voters and residents that is gambling addiction.

"I'm not an expert, but we have experts in the community. We have Harsha, we have Hamilton Center, we have many experts in the community that we will depend on and rely on," John Collett, the chair for advanced west-central Indiana PAC, told WTHI-TV10. "The Chamber of Commerce has actually already started having conversations with those people about that aspect."

Indiana Gaming Commission executive director Sara Gonso Tait told The Herald Bulletin that the commission will not be setting up individual meetings with applicants for the casino.

“The commission is committed to a transparent process,” Gonso Tait said via The Herald Bulletin. “It is our intention to conduct this entire process publicly.”

On top of all this, Spectacle Entertainment which owns the Gary based Majestic Star Casino put in a request to relocate its operations from Buffington Harbor to a more central based and convenient spot. The casino will give three percent of its adjusted gross receipts following the Gary City Council’s unanimous vote on the proposal.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Aug. 28 that John Keeler, the vice president for Spectacle Entertainment, told the City of Gary that if it attained a license to open a casino in Vigo County, the company would honor its previous contract and provide Gary with 0.5 percent of the adjusted gross receipts of the possible Terre Haute casino over the next 10 years.

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Jake Perper covers casino news for A veteran of more than a decade of sports writing, he has covered the Chicago Bears for the Bears Backer blog, and his stories have also appeared on, The Tampa Tribune, The Naples Daily News and Bleacher Report. He is also the leas scout for Prep Hoops Florida, based in Tampa.

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