hurchill Downs Incorporated has submitted a proposal to develop the Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort, a destination gaming facility in Vigo County, Indiana, announced the company on Wednesday. CDI further said it has filed an application to the Indiana Gaming Commission, seeking Indiana’s open casino license for Vigo County.
“We are proud to offer our vision for this world-class casino, a true destination resort designed to draw visitors and economic activity from across the Midwest to Terre Haute,” said Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer of CDI.
The Queen of Terre Haute would feature up to 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, a 125-room luxury hotel, and several food and beverage offerings, states Churchill Downs in a press release. The gambling facility would also count with a state-of-the-art TwinSpires sportsbook, a brand owned and operated by CDI.
“In the days ahead, we look forward to making our case to the Indiana Gaming Commission as to why our proposal to build the Queen of Terre Haute is in the best interest of the residents and businesses of Terre Haute, Vigo County and the State of Indiana,” added Carstanjen. “We appreciate the local encouragement we’ve received as we’ve evaluated this opportunity.”
Both the venue’s name, inspired by Terre Haute’s nickname as the “Queen City of the Wabash Valley”, and the concepts and design features across the casino resort, are set to reflect “the unique heritage of Vigo County” and the surrounding region.
An economic impact study, conducted by Purdue University, estimated that the Queen of Terre Haute casino could generate up to $190 million in annual regional economic impact, including 1,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent ones. Moreover, the report says the project is expected to deliver a 2% annual increase in the West Central Indiana gross regional product.
However, Churchill Downs is not the only company interested in pursuing the casino development in Terre Haute. By Wednesday’s deadline, a total of four operators submitted their own applications to state commissioners.
The license to build a Terre Haute casino first became available in June, after the Indiana Gaming Commission unanimously declined to renew the license to previous holder Lucky Luck Gaming, due to problems including the creation of an executive team and a lack of funding.
In addition to Churchill Downs, Full House Resorts Inc., Hard Rock, and Premier Gaming Group also submitted their own applications. The IGC is set to examine the applications and later determine a date for choosing an applicant, most likely by the end of the year.
Should Churchill Downs win the open casino license, it will move quickly to the construction and operational phases, revealed Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Jason Sauer to Inside Indiana Business.
The company’s goal would be to open the doors to the facility in 2022, described by Sauer as “an aggressive timeline”, but an achievable one. “And frankly, the people of Terre Haute and Vigo County have waited long enough for this property,” said the executive. “And we offer you the team that can do this right, and do it quickly.”