Hard Rock Casino Receives Further Support For Second Indiana Casino Bid

More local officials in Terre Haute are supporting the Hard Rock bid to build a casino in town. Hard Rock is one of four companies in the running for a new casino license in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Vigo County Council already sent the Indiana Gaming Commission letters to voice its support for Hard Rock. Now the County Commissioners and the Capital Improvement Board are getting involved.

All things considered, this is great news for Hard Rock with the license decision less than a month away.

Hard Rock nails down casino construction site

Hard Rock is officially a few steps ahead of the rest of its competitors for Terre Haute’s casino license.

Each of the four would-be licensees recently revealed what their version of an Indiana casino would look like. That included potential construction locations for each property.

If Hard Rock wins the license, then it will build its “Rocksino” at 2555 Joe Fox Street, Terre Haute, IN, 47803. That’s right by the interchange of I-70 and State Road 40.

The Vigo County Commissioners approved that location during their meeting this week. That approval came in tandem with the county’s Capital Improvement Board passing a resolution of support for Hard Rock.

Hard Rock is now the only applicant for the license that has a Land Development Agreement for its casino.

In other words, if Hard Rock wins the license, then construction can begin immediately. No government hoops to jump through in Terre Haute.

If a different company ends up with the license, then things will have to start from square one. Getting local officials on board, securing approval for construction, and setting the entire process in motion could take some time.

Hard Rock finds an edge for Indiana casino bid

A land development agreement could end up being a distinct advantage for Hard Rock when it comes to the licensing process.

Originally, the plan was for Terre Haute’s casino to be open for business by now.

Pandemic delays aside, construction hasn’t even started on the property yet, and the gaming commission could be looking for a fast resolution.

The commission has had plenty of frustrations with Hard Rock in the past, which is why Terre Haute is in this situation in the first place. The company and its partner, Lucy Luck Gaming, previously had the rights to the casino before the gaming commission revoked them earlier this year.

Things haven’t been smooth, but the past is the past. With growing local support and construction agreements in hand, Hard Rock might be starting to turn the tide in its favor.

Terre Haute casino decision in November

These are the four companies looking to stake their claim to gambling in Terre Haute:

  • CDITHLLC (Churchill Downs)
  • FHR-Atlas LLC (Full House Resorts, Inc.)
  • HR Terre Haute, LLC (Hard Rock)
  • Terre Haute EntertainmentLLC (Premier Gaming Group and Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC)

Despite the uncertainty around which company will actually win the license, we won’t have to wait long until this is finally settled.

The Indiana Gaming Commission will be releasing its decision at its meeting on Nov. 17.

That should come as a relief to Terre Haute residents since this process has had all sorts of ups and downs over the course of the past year and a half.

The gaming commission is also hoping for some public comments on Terre Haute’s casino leading up to the decision. You have a few different options if you’d like to make your voice heard.

First and foremost, you can submit an email to [email protected] if you’re looking to chime in.

If you’d prefer a more traditional approach, you can also mail your written statement to the following address:

Indiana Gaming Commission-General Counsel
East Tower, Suite 1600
101 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3408

Hoosiers have until Friday, Nov. 12 at 4:30 p.m. to submit their statements, so feel free to reach out to the gaming commission if you have strong feelings about Terre Haute’s casino project.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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