Indiana Hard Rock Begins New Chapter With Spectacle Entertainment Saga Over

Posted on March 2, 2021

After months of uncertainty, the Spectacle Entertainment debacle is finally over.

The situation has been holding up the new Hard Rock Casino project in Gary, Indiana.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) has been trying to resolve everything for months.

In short, Spectacle has a new owner now and the IGC has reached a settlement with former CEO Rod Ratcliff.

IGC settles lawsuit with Ratcliff

The IGC found ties between Ratcliff and a political money funneling scheme last year.

Since Ratcliff owned a large chunk of Spectacle, that became a problem. Spectacle owns Majestic Star Casino and is heavily involved with Gary’s new Hard Rock.

Back in December, the IGC voted to suspend Ratcliff’s gaming license. That move attempted to force Ratcliff to offload his shares of Spectacle, which would have removed him from the Indiana gambling industry.

Ratcliff sued the gaming commission in an attempt to hold on to his shares of the company.

The ongoing legal battle could have kept the new Hard Rock Casino sitting empty for months on end.

The new agreement between Ratcliff and the IGC settles those legal problems once and for all.

The settlement permanently removes Ratcliff from Indiana’s gambling scene by forcing him to divest his shares in Spectacle.

Greg Gibson joins Indiana Hard Rock Casino scene

One Eyed Jack Ventures has purchased Ratcliff’s stake in Spectacle.

Greg Gibson owns One Eyed Jack, and this is where the Terre Haute businessman enters the changing landscape.

Gibson recently purchased Spectacle Jack, which was a subsidiary of Spectacle Entertainment at the time. Spectacle Jack is running the show for the second Hard Rock Casino project in Terre Haute.

The company recently changed its name to Lucy Luck Gaming.

Since Gibson was already involved in Terre Haute’s Hard Rock endeavors, it makes sense that he would want skin in the game for Gary’s project.

Gibson’s purchases make him a new and important player in Indiana’s casino industry.

The twin Hard Rock Casinos will be the newest gambling hotspots in the state when they open for business.

Gibson might have Ratcliff’s old shares of Spectacle, but Hard Rock International just bought the rest of the company.

Hard Rock buys Spectacle Entertainment

Back when the IGC originally suspended Ratfliff’s license, Hard Rock tried to buy his shares of Spectacle Entertainment. Ratcliff refused the offer.

His shares of the company ended up in Gibson’s hands, but Hard Rock left with everything else.

On Feb. 24, SHRE/SHRI LLC entered a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement to buy the majority of Spectacle Entertainment. That company is a subsidiary of Seminole Holdings, which is the parent company of Hard Rock International.

So in other words, Hard Rock now controls everything related to the Hard Rock Casino in Gary.

Majestic Star’s casino license is transferring to the new building, and since Spectacle owned the license, the company had a big say in what was going on with the project.

That’s no longer a problem now that Hard Rock owns Spectacle.

It’s no surprise that Hard Rock bought the company given the problems that have arisen from having multiple groups in on the Gary project.

Throwing money at the problem isn’t always the right answer, but in this case, it will help stop future problems from coming up at the Gary casino.

The IGC just gave everything the green light, so the situation is finally over.

That’s great news for Hard Rock and Indiana gamblers, who will be eager to visit the new property when it finally opens this spring.

Photo by Dreamstime
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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 PlayIndiana 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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