IGC Reopens Application Process For Vigo County Gaming License

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The Indiana Gaming Commission has reopened the application process for a gaming license to be granted in Vigo County, with Terre Haute as the expected location for a new casino should an applicant be licensed and approved.

The move was expected after the IGC last Thursday unanimously rejected the request for license renewal from Lucy Luck, an offshoot of Spectacle Entertainment that was working in tandem with Hard Rock International to build a “rock-sino” in Terre Haute.

After being issued an initial license in May 2020, the project never began construction in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as legal issues with Spectacle Entertainment that contributed to the resignation of former CEO Rod Ratcliff.

Following the rejection of the license renewal request, IGC Chairman Michael McManis directed staff, led by Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait, to begin reopening the application process. The deadline to submit an application is Sept. 22.

Application odds and ends

The application fee for the license is $50,000, and the IGC noted that “submitted proposals will be publicly disclosable documents.” The IGC also posted a brief Q-and-A on its website that covers various aspects of the application process, noting the potential to allow a temporary casino in Vigo County during the construction of a permanent one since “the Commission has permitted temporary facilities in the past and would entertain such a request if proposed by an applicant.”

The IGC also noted that its eight criteria used in considering a license all carry equal weight and that individual commissioners are “authorized to use discretion in reaching a decision in compliance with Indiana’s Open Door Law.”

Indiana generated $7.4 million in sports betting tax, $385.4 million in wagering taxes, and $425.7 million in overall gaming taxes in Fiscal Year 2020 from nearly $1.7 billion in gaming win.

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Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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