Churchill Downs Inc. chosen to build new casino and hotel in western Indiana community

The company that runs the Kentucky Derby has been chosen to take over the stalled project to build a casino in the city of Terre Haute, western Indiana. Members of the Indiana Gaming Commission voted Wednesday in favor of Churchill Downs Inc. companies that submitted proposals. The selection of Churchill Downs comes after the Project Terre Haute derailed amid an investigation into allegations of criminal and financial misconduct against senior executives of a property group that initially obtained the casino license in 2019. Churchill Downs said he is planning a $ 240 million project to build a new casino, as well as a 10-story, 125-room hotel with a rooftop lounge. The company plans to open the casino within 16 months on a property south of the Interstate 70-US 41 interchange. Executives said they may also consider sites near I-70 on the eastern side. from the city. CEO Bill Carstanjen told the state commission Churchill Downs is not pursuing multiple projects or already running casinos elsewhere in Indiana like the other candidates. we’ve been looking for it for a while, “said Carstanjen.” We’re going to be absolutely focused on getting as far as possible. “Other contenders included Hard Rock International, which had a deal to operate a $ 125 million casino in Terre Haute. before the state commission voted in June against the casino license renewal because the owner group had not hired a management team or secured full funding after more than a year. Hard Rock, based in Florida, in August bought ownership of a new $ 300 million casino from Gary from Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment, the company involved in the misconduct investigation, lost its license. The commission is in negotiations. settlement with this group before a scheduled hearing before an administrative law judge on Dec. 3. In addition to its eponymous racetrack in Louisville and pari-mutuel betting facilities in Kentucky, Churchill Downs operates 10 c asinos in eight states. Project Terre Haute will become Indiana’s 13th casino, the city becoming the first new community in the state to have a casino since 2008. Gambling Commission Executive Director Greg Small said it was important to build the new casino. for too long and too little has been done to reap the full benefits for the state or the local community, ”Small said. the filing of federal charges of illegal contributions to a political campaign involving a longtime Ratcliff business partner, former Spectacle vice president John Keeler. State officials forced Spectacle last year to hand over ownership of the project to Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson, but his efforts to open the casino stalled. Ratcliff has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged by federal authorities in the campaign finance case. Keeler is awaiting trial on the charges against him. Ratcliff agreed in March to relinquish his state casino license and sell his stake in Gary Casino, ending more than a decade as a heavyweight in the Indiana gaming industry.

The company that runs the Kentucky Derby has been chosen to take over the stalled project to build a casino in the city of Terre Haute, western Indiana.

Members of the Indiana Gaming Commission voted Wednesday in favor of Louisville, Ky.-Based Churchill Downs Inc. over three other companies that submitted proposals.

The selection of Churchill Downs comes after the Project Terre Haute derailed amid an investigation into allegations of criminal and financial misconduct against senior executives of a property group that initially obtained the casino license in 2019.

Churchill Downs said he is planning a $ 240 million project to build a new casino, as well as a 10-story, 125-room hotel with a rooftop lounge. The company plans to open the casino within 16 months on a property south of the Interstate 70-US 41 interchange. Executives said they may also be considering sites near I-70 in east. the city.

CEO Bill Carstanjen told the state commission that Churchill Downs is not pursuing multiple projects or already running casinos elsewhere in Indiana like the other candidates.

“It’s a market we’ve been looking for for some time,” Carstanjen said. “We’re going to be absolutely focused on getting as far as possible.”

Other candidates included Hard Rock International, which had a deal to operate a $ 125 million casino in Terre Haute before the state commission voted in June against renewing the casino’s license because the group that owned the casino didn’t had not hired a management team or obtained full funding after more than a year. Florida-based Hard Rock bought ownership of a new $ 300 million casino from Gary in August from Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment, the company involved in the misconduct investigation.

The state commission has detained Churchill Downs as the former Terre Haute casino group fights the loss of its license. The commission is in settlement negotiations with this group before a hearing scheduled for December 3 before an administrative law judge.

In addition to its eponymous racetrack in Louisville and pari-mutuel betting facilities in Kentucky, Churchill Downs operates 10 casinos in eight states. The Terre Haute project will become Indiana’s 13th casino, the city becoming the first new community in the state to have a casino since 2008.

The executive director of the gaming commission, Greg Small, said it was important to build the new casino.

“This project has been on hold for too long and too little has been done to fully reap the benefits for the state or the local community,” Small said.

Project Terre Haute has been in turmoil since early 2020, when state casino officials began investigating Spectacle Entertainment and then CEO Rod Ratcliff after federal contributions charges were filed. illegal to a political campaign involving a longtime Ratcliff business partner, former Spectacle vice president John Keeler.

State officials forced Spectacle last year to turn ownership of the project to Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson, but his efforts to open the casino failed.

Ratcliff has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged by federal authorities in the campaign finance case. Keeler is awaiting trial on the charges against him.

Ratcliff agreed in March to relinquish his state casino license and sell his stake in Gary Casino, ending more than a decade as a heavyweight in Indiana’s gambling industry.

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