Inside Indiana Business
TERRE HAUTE – The prospect of a new casino in Terre Haute now appears uncertain after a decision by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The commission voted unanimously this week not to renew the gaming license for Terre Haute-based Lucy Luck Gaming to operate the $175 million casino.
According to WTHI-TV, the commissioners ruled Lucy Luck had not hired an executive team to run the casino and also did not have full financing secured for the casino’s operations. In March, the company told the commission it had secured a financing package to complete the casino.
“We haven’t closed on the financing because we don’t have financing approval. Other than that, I’m not clear on why this statement of ‘We’re not fully funded,'” Murray Clark, an attorney for Lucy Luck, told the Tribune-Star.
Plans for the casino, which would be built and operated by Hard Rock International, have been in the works for nearly two years. Lucy Luck Chairman Greg Gibson said earlier this year he had hoped to open the casino in 2022.
As a result of the commission’s ruling, the license application process for the casino will be reopened. In a statement issued Thursday, Gibson said while the ruling wasn’t what the company anticipated, he isn’t sure if they will reapply for the license.
“We certainly have accomplished our original goal of bringing a gaming license to Vigo County. The community can take solace in the fact that there will eventually be a gaming facility here,” said Gibson. “It truly saddens me to know that the Terre Haute license will be open for a bidding process amongst companies who will be interested in the project solely for monetary gain, and with companies who don’t know our community like Lucy Luck does. For me, this project has always been about Terre Haute; it’s been about my home community. Terre Haute deserves this casino, and I wish it could be alongside Lucy Luck Gaming.”
A time frame for the bidding process for the license was not provided.