Challenges Push Casino Owner to Think Differently

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Officials including CEO Dan Lee (pictured center) broke ground Tuesday on the RV park project. Officials including CEO Dan Lee (pictured center) broke ground Tuesday on the RV park project.

The chief executive officer of Full House Resorts Inc. (Nasdaq: FLL), which owns Rising Star Casino, says the gaming venue in Rising Sun is embracing "the ways we're different" with a $1.5 million investment into a new recreational vehicle park. Dan Lee says no other casino in Indiana offers the amenity and it will allow Rising Star to attract customer from "a little different market." He tells Inside INdiana Business the casino is at a geographic disadvantage and points to failed attempts to shift unused casino games to proposed venues in Indianapolis and Terre Haute as efforts to stay profitable.

Lee says a lot has changed in more than 20 years of casino gaming in Indiana. He says the state's original focus was on casinos near Chicago and Cincinnati and gaming has since grown in both neighboring states. "So, to some extent, Indiana has it's casinos in the wrong places," he said, but any relocations require the approval of the General Assembly. Lee says legislators have shown a tendency to protect the existing gaming properties that are in their district, thwarting the company's attempts to reallocate its numerous unused games to cities currently without a casino.

Lee says the southeast Indiana casino is still profitable and the company is committed to staying where it is. Full House Resorts broke ground Tuesday on the new RV park, which will connect guests to the casino, resort amenities, golf course and downtown Rising Sun. Lee says "the RV travel market is large and growing, especially in our geographic region. Approximately one in ten households now own a recreational vehicle and the majority of these RVs were manufactured in Indiana. We believe the RV Park is a perfect complement to our existing casino, dining, sports and entertainment facilities."

Full House Resorts Inc. (Nasdaq: FLL) Chief Executive Officer Dan Lee says a lot has changed in more than 20 years of gaming in Indiana.
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