The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) approved Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) to become the operator of the state’s 13th casino slated to appear in the city of Terre Haute in Vigo County.
Winner of the Competitive Bid Process
CDI’s wholly-owned subsidiary CDITH submitted its application to develop what it named the Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort, alongside competitive bids from 3 other companies, Full House Resorts, Hard Rock International and Premier Gaming Group, but the IGC unanimously voted to grant the sole Certificate of Suitability to CDITH.
We are thrilled for this opportunity and honored for the trust that the Indiana Gaming Commission has placed in CDI and our plan to bring a true destination casino resort to West Central Indiana.”Bill Carstanjen, CEO, CDI
The $240-million casino development proposal ranked second to Full House Resorts’ $300 million one, but commissioners voted 5-2 to defeat the motion to pick Full House before the CDITH’s application was passed. Hard Rock International and Premier Gaming Group saw their bids hit the rails in the preliminary vote.
In the days ahead, we look forward to continuing our collaboration with local officials in Vigo County and the Indiana Gaming Commission as we work to turn our vision for the Queen of Terre Haute into a reality.”Jason Sauer, SVP, Corporate Development, CDI
CDI’s 400,000-square-foot Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort will feature 1,000 slots and 50 table games, TwinSpires Sportsbook, a luxury hotel with 125 rooms, as well as food and beverage offerings, as the design is looking to reflect on Vigo County’s and its surrounding areas heritage.
Speaking to reporters, Carstanjanen outlined the company’s long-standing interest to operate a casino in Indiana, having already established its presence in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and other surrounding states.
“Indiana is a fantastic state with a transparent, easy-to-understand regulatory infrastructure. So, for us as a major US gaming company, we finally found our opportunity to get involved,” he concluded.
Still Early for the Champagne
CDI will not get the casino license yet as the license’s previous owner Lucy Luck appealed the refusal by the IGC to renew the initially awarded more than a year ago license and an administrative judge blocked the Commission’s decision from coming into force pending a hearing.
Once the legal issue with Greg Gibson’s Lucy Luck venture is resolved, the IGC will be able to award the casino license to CDITH. In the meantime, CDI could start applying for permits and finalize its construction plans.
CDI is currently operating or owning 10 casinos nationwide, on top of racetracks in Kentucky, Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio and if Queen of Terre Haute materializes, it will become the company’s 11th land-based casino-style property.
Last month, CDI announced plans to open a casino venue in downtown Kentucky, Derby City Gaming Downtown, located across an area of 43,000 square feet just five miles away from the racetrack where the historic Kentucky Derby takes place.