Full House Backs Off Lawsuit Against the Indiana Gaming Commission

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Full House Resorts wasn’t happy with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) last month. The gaming regulator chose Churchill Downs as the operator of a casino in Vigo County, leading Full House to sue the commission. Cooler heads prevail, though, and Full House has decided not to move forward with its lawsuit.

Full House Throws in the Towel

Full House was one of the applicants who were denied the Vigo County casino license in November 2021. The two finalists were Full House and Churchill Downs, Inc., from the four applicants that were considered at a November 17, 2020, meeting in Indianapolis. Churchill Downs was then selected by the commission.

Exactly a month later, a lawsuit was filed by Full House against the IGC, alleging that the commission had violated Indiana’s open-door law concerning meetings. In part, the lawsuit sought to invalidate Churchill’s selection as the casino operator and to grant Full House the license.

Full House legal counsel sent a letter to the IGC on Tuesday, requesting the dismissal. It stated that they never intended for this action to delay economic growth or be interpreted as malicious. It added that, even if it were repeated, the outcome would be unlikely to differ.

Vigo County Casino Effort Plagued

Trying to bring a casino to Vigo County has been an arduous task. Specifically, the casino is planned for Terre Haute but has continuously run into roadblocks. The project was initially approved in 2019 and the IGC gave Spectacle Entertainment the license. However, the hospitality company later came under fire by the IGC and state officials, forcing the licensing issue back to the table.

Hard Rock was interested in the project, as well. However, in June of last year, it ran into a little bit of trouble. It had joined Full House and Churchill Downs, as well as Premier Gaming Group, as a candidate for the license. New state rules – spawned by the Spectacle drama in the state – put the company in the spotlight. That may have played a part in the international gaming company not being able to make the final cut for Vigo County.

The Full House lawsuit was the latest, and almost the last, chapter in the saga. Now that it has been dismissed, Churchill Downs can move forward. It plans on building the Queen of Terre Haute Casino, which will house 50 table games and around 1,000 slots. It will also include a hotel with 125 keys.

Projected to cost $240 million, there is no timeframe for completion. This is partly because Churchill Downs isn’t sure where it wants to build the property. It has been a fan of the west side of the city and included this in its presentation; however, it could change its mind. The other candidates had favored the east side of the city and Churchill Downs may decide that option is a better choice.

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