The Indiana gambling regulatory body is moving to permanently revoke the gaming license held by casino mogul Rod Ratcliff amid an ongoing state probe into alleged unethical behavior associated with his past business endeavors.
At the beginning of the week, the legal representatives of the Indiana Gaming Commission submitted a petition for permanent license revocation to a Lake County Superior Court. The move came as part of the lawsuit filed by Mr. Ratcliff in January against the state’s gambling watchdog. According to new claims included in the petition, Mr. Ratcliff used his casino business to transfer about $900,000 to fund horse racing bets with personal accounts from 2015 to 2019.
According to information included in the petition, the funds were transferred to at least one FastBet account in Ratcliff’s name. The gambling regulator claims that the funds were transferred from the track’ casinos by using a “marketing other” category during the four-year period.
The Indiana Gaming Commission claims that Ratcliff was supposed to have provided this information at the time when he applied for the now-controversial license in 2018. As CasinoGamesPro has already revealed, some Centaur Gaming executives, where Ratcliff acted as CEO and Chairman, took part in a scheme to illegally make money donations to a Congressional candidate’s political campaign.
Ratcliff’s Gambling License Temporarily Suspended on December 23rd, 2020
The casino magnate’s gambling license was temporarily suspended during the Commission’s meeting on December 23rd, 2020. The businessman has not faced any charges in the abovementioned case but the regulator’s investigators believe it was Ratcliff who met with a campaign consultant to organize the entire scheme.
For the time being, the regulator refused to comment on the pending legal action. Mr. Ratcliff’s spokesperson shared he is reviewing the petition.
The emergency order that temporarily suspended his license in December last year, forced Mr. Ratcliff to dispose of his shares in the Hard Rock Casino Gary that is being developed by his company Spectacle Entertainment.
In response, the businessman has taken the Indiana Gaming Commission to court, claiming he was given no notice, no process, or a hearing before his license was suspended. The lawsuit also claims that the action stipped him of any chances to sell the aforementioned shares on his own terms.
On its part, the Gaming Commission’s petition says that the regulatory body’s investigation suggests Mr. Ratcliff had breached regulations by providing false information, hiding conduct that violated gaming rules and regulations of the state and refusing to meet with representatives of the watchdog on two occasions.
As written by the watchdog in its petition, Ratcliff is no longer considered suitable to hold a casino license in Indiana and any of the issues pointed out in the petition, individually, should result in revocation of his license.
The regulator’s petition would have to be reviewed by the Indiana Office of Administrative Law Proceedings that is the body that rules on agency disputes. The ongoing investigation puts the casino license held by Mr. Ratcliff at risk but also postpones the transfer of assets from the riverboat facilities of Majestic Star to the $300-million Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.