The proposed Lucy Luck Casino in Terre Haute, IN, is facing a bleak future, after the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) voted not to renew the gaming license for the company to continue its project in the city. Scheduled to open in 2022, the casino, run by Hard Rock, was tipped to bring more than 1,300 jobs to the region, as well as $120 million in projected revenue for the first year.
The groundbreaking ceremony was expected for the first week of July, with the opening scheduled for 2022. The IGC has re-opened the bidding process and executives from Lucy Luck are expected to reapply.
Lucy Luck fails to make the grade with the Gaming Commission
The gaming commission opted not to renew the license at a vote, citing a lack of a senior leadership team and the fact that the casino is not fully funded. Owners of the casino had allegedly failed to provide enough financial information for the licensing process. Lucy Lucky casinos remain optimistic that they can reapply for the license in the near future. “We haven’t closed on the financing because we don’t have financing approval. Other than that, I’m not clear on why this statement of ‘We’re not fully funded,'” Lucky Luck attorney Murry Clark told the media.
Clark was quick to point out that the glass is still very much half full, with potential for the construction to still press ahead as scheduled. “Hard Rock will manage the design and construction – much as it did in Gary,” Clark said. Lucy Luck partnered with Hard Rock International, which also operates a casino in neighboring Gary, to run the casino.
Local Business Owners Disappointed
Greg Gibson, a local business associated with the leadership team, couldn’t hide his disappointment at the gaming commission’s decision. Gibson told local media that the leadership team had been making steady progress on hiring an executive team for the casino. He asserted, “We certainly have accomplished our original goal of bringing a gaming license to Vigo County. The community can take solace in the fact that there will eventually be a gaming facility here. It truly saddens me to know that the Terre Haute license will be open for a bidding process amongst companies who will be interested in the project solely for monetary gain, and with companies who don’t know our community like Lucy Luck does. For me, this project has always been about Terre Haute; it’s been about my home community. Terre Haute deserves this casino, and I wish it could be alongside Lucy Luck Gaming.”
Sarah Tait, Director of the IGC, cited the lack of financing as a major concern. “We’re now a year and a half into this process and still talking about things that are prospective in nature,” Tait said.