In Indiana, a Terre Haute businessman has reportedly announced that he intends to launch a campaign that could eventually result in his home city being given the right to host a full-scale casino.

Spectacle Entertainment:

According to a Thursday report from the local Tribune-Star newspaper, local property developer, Greg Gibson, detailed that he is partnering with the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Centaur Entertainment Corporation, Rod Ratcliff, in order to merge their new Spectacle Entertainment vehicle with local casino operator Majestic Holdco.

Gary relocation:

The newspaper reported that Majestic Holdco is responsible for the Majestic Star Casino Hotel and Majestic Star Casino Hotel II riverboat casinos in the city of Gary but has recently expressed a desire to relocate the adjacent floating Lake Michigan enterprises to inland sites.

Campaign to begin next year:

Gibson reportedly declared that he expects the planned merger to be finished by the end of March and that he subsequently intends to begin lobbying state legislators for permission to transfer at least one of the Gary casino licenses to a new facility in Terre Haute.

Casino experience:

The newspaper reported that Gary-based Majestic Holdco recently sold its WaterView Casino and Hotel in Mississippi to the Foundation Gaming Group while Centaur Entertainment Corporation, which was responsible for the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino and Hoosier Park Racing and Casino properties, was bought by Caesars Entertainment Corporation in July via a $1.7 billion deal.

Gibson reportedly told the Tribune-Star…

“I really see this as an opportunity to help Indiana’s overall economy. It sure doesn’t seem prudent to me to have two aging facilities operating side by side in Gary. It makes sense to move these licenses for the betterment of the entire state. I do trust that my home community will step up and try to make a case to be considered for a license.”

Second attempt:

The Tribune-Star reported that Gibson’s campaign is set to be the second time Terre Haute has sought to secure a casino license. His effort follows that of local Indiana State Senator Jon Ford (pictured), who filed legislation late in 2016 that would have permitted operator Full House Resorts Incorporated to relocate up to half of the games licensed for its Rising Star Casino Resort in Ohio County to a new $150 million facility in the city of some 171,000 people.

Public referendum possibility:

However, Ford’s measure reportedly died in committee after only a few months with the Republican subsequently stating that any future such endeavor should involve a public referendum so as to send a clear message to his fellow legislators.

Ford reportedly told the Tribune-Star…

“I think people in Terre Haute should have a right to voice their opinion. We would have to see what the effort is and if it had a referendum I would be open to it. That is something I kind of learned out of that process.”

Revitalization needed:

Gibson reportedly told the newspaper that it ‘is not going to be easy’ to bring a casino to Terre Haute but that the time had come for legislators to ‘make some decisions’ in order to revitalize the local gaming industry.

Gibson reportedly told the Tribune-Star…

“It is my personal belief that Terre Haute should have been considered for a license when we first passed the gaming laws. We are a huge retail area for eastern Illinois. We want to focus on bringing people from outside our state to come in and spend money.”