Yesterday, a Hard Rock International executive revealed that the gambling company’s new casino in Gary is scheduled to start operation on May 14th.
As announced by Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer of Hard Rock International, a Friends and Family event is to take place on May 11th, while an opening for VIP customers will be held on May 13th. Mr. Lucas also shared he believed that the project has managed to overcome all the obstacles on its way.
Before the announcement of the Gary Casino’s upcoming opening, the board of directors of the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) ratified orders that called for the former CEO and Chair of Spectacle Entertainment, Rod Ratcliff, to be removed from any ownership associated with Majestic Star Casinos’ operating license. The gambling regulatory body has also insisted on him giving his gaming license in the state away.
Furthermore, the Indiana Gaming Commission’s board gave its approval to a settlement with Spectacle Entertainment worth $530,000. Under the settlement, Mr. Ratcliff was removed from the casino’s management.
Spectacle Entertainment and Hard Rock International have joined forces for the $300-million Gary Casino and another casino project, called Lucy Luck, which is to be situated in Terre Haute. For the time being, Spectacle Entertainment runs Majestic Star Casinos in Gary, which is set to cease operation once the new casino venue there opens.
Indiana Gaming Commission Reaches a $530,000 Settlement with Spectacle Entertainment
In February 2021, a complaint was filed by the Indiana Gaming Commission, who called for Lake Superior Court to permanently revoke the gaming license of Mr. Ratcliff in the state. At the time, the regulatory body cited multiple examples of alleged violations, including participation in a fraudulent scheme funneling corporate campaign funds.
The legal hurdles faced by the company threatened to put off the planned opening of the casino complex, worth $300 million. The obstacles now seem to no longer be in the operator’s way, preventing it from proceeding with the Gary Casino opening.
The General Counsel of the IGC, Greg Small, shared that the remaining parties involved in the casino venue are not breaching any rules. He further noted that the ratification of the Commission’s orders that required the divestiture of Mr. Ratcliff has been of paramount importance for the casino, which he described as an important economic development project, to move forward.
Sara Tait, the Executive Director of the IGC, shared that the transition from boat to land casino in Gary is important for the city and local residents. She further noted that so far no casino licensee has failed to comply with the Commission’s order in over 50 days.
A spokesperson for the union that represents some of Majestic Star’s workers revealed that 24 employees were dismissed and are currently in danger of losing their jobs. The spokesperson further noted that the workers were informed they would have to reapply for new positions at the Hard Rock casino, as they would not be transferred directly to the new venue as it was said in the agreement.