There were some big stories out of the Indiana gambling industry in 2019. Among them, the successful launch of legal sports betting and the announcement of a new Hard Rock Casino in Gary.
The third that we’ll highlight here at PlayIndiana is related to the Hard Rock deal. To get approval to build the new land-based casino, Spectacle Entertainment forfeited one of its two casino licenses.
The second license was slated to move to Terre Haute if approved by voter referendum, which it was in November. Any casino operator, Spectacle included, had the chance to bid on that casino license.
As it turns out, there was only one bidder: Spectacle.
Terre Haute license expected to be two-bidder process
The expectation was that at least two companies would put in bids for the Terre Haute casino license. It seemed natural for Spectacle to be one of them, to try to regain its lost second license.
Full House Resorts, meanwhile, has talked for years about taking its unused gaming spaces from Rising Star to a new casino in Terre Haute. CEO Dan Lee sounded confident on a conference call earlier this year that the company would bid on the license if approved by voters.
But no bid came. Instead, the only bid is another Hard Rock-licensed and operated Rocksino from Spectacle.
The Indiana Gaming Commission will consider the application at some point next year. Being the only bidder doesn’t guarantee Spectacle will win the license, however.
Eyes in Indiana will be watching to see how the Terre Haute casino story unfolds in the coming months.