Queen City Casino rendering

The Queen of Terre Haute casino by CDITH LLC (Churchill Downs) could feature up to 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, a 125-room luxury hotel, a state-of-the-art TwinSpires sportsbook and several food & beverage offerings. From its name (inspired by Terre Haute’s nickname as the “Queen City of the Wabash Valley”) to concepts and design features across the facility, the Queen of Terre Haute will reflect the unique heritage of Vigo County and the surrounding region.

Four applications have been submitted to the Indiana Gaming Commission seeking a gaming license to operate a casino in Vigo County.

The deadline for applications with the Indiana Gaming Commission was 4:45 p.m. today. The commission at 5 p.m. posted the names of the applicants. They are:

• CDITH LLC (Churchill Downs)

• FHR-Atlas LLC (Full House Resorts, Inc.)

• HR Terre Haute LLC (Hard Rock)

• Terre Haute Entertainment LLC (Premier Gaming Group and Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC)

No additional information about the applications was released by the Gaming Commission.

Greg Small, executive director of the Gaming Commission, issued a statement saying, "We are very pleased with the level of interest in the Vigo County casino license and look forward to a competitive selection process. The work to evaluate these proposals begins immediately, with the goal of setting a commission meeting date for official action before the end of the year."

After denying an annual license renewal in June to Lucy Luck Gaming LLC — which is led by Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson — the Gaming Commission reopened the application process for the Vigo County license.

Lucy Luck has appealed the decision to deny its license renewal. It is unclear how the pending appeal might affect the current license application process. The Tribune-Star has reached out to Gibson for comment.

The Gaming Commission in June said interested applicants must pay an application fee of $50,000.

Churchill Downs this afternoon issued a news release saying it had submitted a proposal to develop the Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort and is seeking the Vigo County license.

Queen City Casino Logo

Queen of Terre Haute Casino logo

The Downs said, "The Queen of Terre Haute will feature up to 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, a 125-room luxury hotel, a state-of-the-art TwinSpires sportsbook and several food & beverage offerings. From its name — inspired by Terre Haute’s nickname as the “Queen City of the Wabash Valley” — to concepts and design features across the facility, the Queen of Terre Haute will reflect the unique heritage of Vigo County and the surrounding region."

Churchill Downs Inc. said an economic impact study conducted by economists at Purdue University estimates that the Queen of Terre Haute will generate $190 million in annual regional economic impact, including 1,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs. According to the study, the project is expected to deliver a 2% annual increase in the West Central Indiana gross regional product.

“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,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc.

Hard Rock International is a Florida-based international restaurant and gaming company. It recently took over Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary from Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment. Hard Rock had been operating the new $300 million casino in Gary since it opened in May.

Full House Resorts Inc. is based in Las Vegas and operates five casino facilities in Mississippi, Colorado, Indiana and Nevada. It operates the Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana. That resort features more than 1,000 slot machines, a variety of table games and 294 hotel rooms.

"Terre Haute Entertainment LLC (Premier Gaming Group and Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC)" appears to be a partnership.

Premier Gaming Group, per its website, has experience "in most of the major gaming markets in the United States, including Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana and Washington. Currently, Premier Gaming Group is an owner and operator of the Magnolia Bluffs Casino & Hotel in Natchez, Mississippi."

The Tribune-Star was still looking for further information Wednesday evening on Terre Haute Entertainment LLC.

Documents on file with the Indiana Secretary of State list Terre Haute Entertainment LLC as a foreign limited liability company created Sept. 17 with a principal office address in New York. The information lists an original formation date of Sept. 7 and a jurisdiction of formation as Delaware. It has an authorized agent in Indianapolis.

This story was updated at 6:30 p.m. with additional reporting.

• • •

 

Original story, 5:19 p.m.:

Four applications have been submitted to the Indiana Gaming Commission seeking a gaming license to operate a casino in Vigo County.

The deadline for applications with the Indiana Gaming Commission was 4:45 p.m. today. The commission at 5 p.m. posted the names of the applicants. They are:

• CDITH LLC (Churchill Downs)

• FHR-Atlas LLC (Full House Resorts, Inc.)

• HR Terre Haute LLC (Hard Rock)

• Terre Haute Entertainment LLC (Premier Gaming Group and Terre Haute Entertainment Holdings LLC)

No additional information was released about the applications.

After denying an annual license renewal in June to Lucy Luck Gaming LLC, the Indiana Gaming Commission re-opened the application process for the Vigo County gaming license. However, the Lucy Luck appeal of that gaming commission decision to deny the license renewal remains pending.

It is unclear how the pending appeal might affect the current license application process.

Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson, chairman of Lucy Luck Gaming, prior to the denial of the renewal told the commission he had a commitment from five Indiana banks and Lucy Luck Gaming would get the funding once a gaming (renewal) license is granted. The Tribune-Star has reached out to Gibson for comment.

The Gaming Commission on June 28 posted that interested applicants must pay an application fee of $50,000 and use the Commission's Casino License Application.

"After receipt of applications and proposals, and the completion of all necessary investigations, the Commission will determine the appropriate date for Commission action at a business meeting," the commission posted at the time.

This story will be updated.

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Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.