IGC Has Another Problem With Hard Rock Terre Haute Finances

Before construction can begin, Terre Haute’s new Hard Rock Casino has one more obstacle to overcome.

At its recent meeting, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) did not approve the project’s financing.

Construction of casinos cannot commence until the IGC approves everything due to their high cost.

At its next meeting on June 24, the commission could approve the funding. However, the casino’s parent company has to address some unresolved issues first.

Indiana’s Hard Rock requires a license.

The funding for The Hard Rock encountered a hurdle as its parent company needs to renew its casino license.

In 2020, Lucy Luck Gaming obtained the license to construct the new “Rocksino”.

The project’s financing would have been settled by the company last year, but the scandal involving Spectacle Entertainment complicated things.

Lucy Luck was previously owned by Spectacle, and it is alleged that some officials from the company were involved in a political money laundering scheme.

This ultimately resulted in Spectacle selling Lucy Luck to Greg Gibson, a businessman from Terre Haute. Although the company is now rid of the scandal, the situation has still pushed back the progress for the new Rocksino.

Lucy Luck needs to renew the casino license she received last year as a significant amount of time has passed. If all goes as planned, the renewal will happen on June 21.

This is why the IGC refrained from approving the Rocksino’s finance before their meeting on June 24. The commission wants absolute confirmation that Lucy Luck is the true license owner before they commence construction on the casino.

Should construction have commenced early and issues arose with the license renewal, it could have resulted in a partially constructed casino building with no operator.

Lucky Luck is currently engaged in the renewal process, but a potential issue with paperwork could still disrupt the company’s proceedings.

Paperwork issue at Hard Rock Terre Haute

Fallout from Spectacle Entertainment lawsuit

Although Spectacle no longer owns Lucy Luck, the company’s scandal continues to impact Terre Haute. Following the Spectacle fiasco, the IGC introduced new guidelines to prevent future scandals. These regulations mandate that casino operators in Indiana must apply for a Level 1 occupational license.

Those owners must submit detailed financial background information to the IGC to receive that license.

To put it mildly, Spectacle’s owners are not fans of this new requirement. They have filed a lawsuit against the IGC in an effort to maintain their privacy. These financial disclosure regulations are applicable to all casino operators in the state, Lucy Luck included.

Lucy Luck owners miss IGC deadline

It seems that some officials from the company are procrastinating on submitting the appropriate paperwork to the gaming commission.

Lucy Luck failed to meet the original deadline of May 14 to adhere to the new rules set by the IGC.

Gibson is making an attempt to fix the ship’s damages. He’s been purchasing shares from minority owners of Lucy Luck to kick start the process.

Similar to the owners of Spectacle, many investors of Lucy Luck are not particularly keen on distributing additional financial information.

Gibson proposed buyouts to 14 minority owners of Lucy Luck. So far, eight investors have accepted the deals, while the remaining are still in negotiation.

Before Lucy Luck can renew its casino license, the remaining minority owners must either sell their stakes or adhere to the rules set by the IGC.

Gibson and his team have until June 21 to make it happen, but another delay could be in the offing for the Rocksino if they fail to deliver.

Lucy Luck is aiming to have its groundbreaking ceremony in Terre Haute by the first week of July.

Whether the company can meet the construction date depends on its ability to resolve its outstanding paperwork issues in a timely manner.

Publicizing their target date indicates that Lucy Luck is confident in a hitch-free license renewal process.

If construction finally commences, Hoosier gamblers could be visiting the new Rocksino by fall 2022, which would be fantastic news for them.

Photo by Khuruzero | Dreamstime.com
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a Gambling Industry Analyst in the US for Catena Media, with a focus on Midwest sports betting and casino content. Before his stint in the legal gambling industry, he was a professional sports writer, covering teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Indiana Pacers. Presently, Garza is the Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, having also worked with notable brands like PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been reporting on the gambling industry since 2019 and works alongside a team of journalists to deliver extensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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