The gambling regulatory body of the state of Indiana has resolved one legal dispute associated with the construction of a casino in Terre Haute. However, a separate lawsuit, which challenges the selection of the company that would operate the new casino, was filed a few days ago and may lead to additional delays in the planned construction.
On December 21st, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) agreed to a settlement with Lucy Luck Gaming. The move put an end to the company’s administrative appeal of a previous decision of the state’s gambling authority published on June 24th. At the time, the IGC decided not to renew the Terre Haute casino license held by Lucy Luck, after it found that the company made no visible progress toward constructing a casino venue in the west-central part of Indiana for more than 13 months.
Under the agreement, the Indiana gambling authority is set to return the casino license fee paid by Lucy Luck worth $5 million in case that Lucy Luck permanently surrenders the operating permit of Terre Haute and drops all pending legal actions against the Gaming Commission by December 23rd.
With that issue finally resolved, the Terre Haute casino license was officially awarded by the gambling authority to the Churchill Downs affiliate that managed to emerge victorious from the four-way competition for the reissued operating permit. The Commission is also expecting the payment of the aforementioned $5-million license fee.
Full House Resorts Seeks Court to Prevent IGC from Awarding the Casino License to Churchill Downs’ Affiliate
As it was revealed by Churchill Downs, the Terre Haute project involves the construction of a 392,000-square-foot casino that is worth $239.2 million. The gambling and entertainment venue is set to feature 50 table games, 1,000 slot machines, a TwinSpires sportsbook, with a 125-room luxury hotel, a rooftop bar and a steak house adjacent to the casino. Other amenities will also be available at the resort.
The Queen of Terre Haute casino is set to be situated in close proximity to the state line, on a total of 20.9 acres of undeveloped land southwest of the city of Terre Haute. Unfortunately, it may not become a reality anytime soon.
The company that came in second in the competition for the operating permit of Terre Haute, Full House Resorts Inc., has turned to both a Marion County judge and a state administrative law judge seeking them to prevent the Illinois Gaming Commission from awarding the license to Churchill Downs’ affiliate. According to Full House’s claims, the state’s gambling regulatory body violated the state’s Open Door Law by recessing for an executive session at the time when the license selection hearing was held. The gambling company also argues that the watchdog failed to appreciate the advantages of Churchill Down’s casino project in comparison to the one of Full House.
After losing the competition for the Terre Haute operating license, Full House has still secured a tentative agreement for a new casino permit in Waukegan, Illinois. Currently, the company also operates the Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana.