A legal fight over a $ 300 million casino property in northwest Indiana could leave it empty for months even after the construction period ends.
According to The Times, the Indiana Gaming Commission told Gary’s Majestic Star Casinos parent company to give up the plan to shut down its gambling jackpots in March and April, when the land-based casino in Gary was supposed to open.
A significant effort was required to keep the existing casino operation in business after the commission took the step in December to force an Indiana gaming industry heavyweight to forfeit its stake in Spectacle Entertainment.
The company owns the existing casinos as well as the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, which is still under construction.
The executive director of the commission, Sara Gonso Tait, explained that the actions of Spectacle representatives “have created a high level of uncertainty both in the suitability and in the schedule of the project.”
He added: “Until an acceptable path forward is identified, the commission will continue to act within its authority to protect gaming revenues and employees at the current Gary operation.”
As response to the accusationsIn January, former Spectacle CEO Rod Ratcliff filed a lawsuit against the commission. According to him, the accusations that he continued exercising control about the company in violation of state orders were false.
The commission accused Ratcliff of using the casino for a illegal plan to channel money from the casino company to the former state legislator’s failed 2016 Republican Congressional campaign.
Due to Ratcliff’s lawsuit, he was unable to sell his 22% stake on Spectacle, which I had been meaning to do for quite some time.
State regulators they interfered with their plan at the same time they were trying to force him to accept a “settlement price” from Hard Rock International.
Former Spectacle vice president and longtime Ratcliff business partner John Keeler was also charged with the alleged donor contributions false. Meanwhile, Ratcliff pleads not guilty and has not been charged in the federal case.
The commission’s attorneys have asked a Lake County judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Rafcliff has not Exhausted your administrative appeals.
Meanwhile, Hard Rock continues with its plan to establish a future location along Interstate 80/94, which, according to its website and statewide billboards, is supposed to open in the spring of 2021.
The company is currently recruiting, hiring and training hundreds of employees to work in the future casino.
According to the company’s chief operating officer, Jon Lucas Hard Rock “remains committed to the successful completion of the Hard Rock Northern Indiana project.”
While the ownership dispute is resolved, the Hard Rock brand is awaiting final approval from the Illinois Gaming Board for the future Rockford Hard Rock Casino.
Source: “The Property Struggle Could Empty New Indiana Casino,” The Republic, February 1, 2021