Vigo County

Indiana: Hard Rock gets city council support for Terre Haute casino license

Render of Hard Rock casino project for Terre Haute in Indiana.
2021-11-05
United States
Reading time 1:34 min
The resolution passed Thursday now goes to the Indiana Gaming Commission. It will announce a decision at its November 17 meeting, after listening to presentations from all four bidders: Churchill Downs, Full House Resorts, Premiere Gaming and Hard Rock.

Indiana's Terre Haute City Council voted 6-2 Thursday during a meeting to support Hard Rock for the available Vigo County casino license.

The resolution now goes to the Indiana Gaming Commission, which is scheduled to make and announce a decision at its November 17 meeting, after listening to each of the companies 30-minute presentations.

“My deciding factor is that it is a local businessman who is proposing it,” Councilman George Azar said, as reported by Tribune Star. “He’s been involved in the community for many, many, many years.”

The Vigo County Board of Commissioners has also approved a local development agreement with HR Terre Haute LLC.

Churchill Downs, Full House Resorts, Premiere Gaming and Hard Rock are currently in competition to receive the license after a majority of Vigo County voters voted “yes” to a casino coming to the area nearly two years ago. 

“In order for the gaming commission to maybe aid them in their decision, they’d like support from the local Legislative body, and being that Hard Rock is being proposed by a local businessman who gives a lot of time and effort to this community, I just felt like this was something I needed to support,” Azar said.

Although this did not decide who will get the gaming license, it is still up to the Indiana Gaming Commission, Terre Haute City Attorney Eddie Felling said the decision can have an effect on the outcome. “I would just note that this does have a profound impact on the decision-making process, it is a factor that the gaming commission can consider when ultimately making the decision which is just around the corner,” he said.

Council President Earl Elliott explained why Hard Rock represented the best alternative: “From my perspective, their location makes the most sense, their brand and focus on music makes great sense in a college town, and the opportunity for a local community member [Greg Gibson] to be a minority owner is very positive for our community,” Elliott said.

“I think the other casinos have good presentations, good ideas and I hope whoever comes, it’ll benefit the city and the county and those of us who live here,” Azar concluded.

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