The city of Evansville and Tropicana Entertainment Inc. have announced a $50 million project to move the city’s riverboat-based casino inland. During a news conference this morning, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said half the investment from the Las Vegas company will be paid to the city upfront. The move will be the first for an Indiana riverboat casino.
During the previous legislative session, lawmakers approved changes to state gaming regulations, which included allowing casinos to move inland. It will be located between the current company-owned Tropicana Evansville Hotel and LeMerigot Hotel.
The deal extends the casino’s lease through 2055, which is another 15 years. Officials say plans call for the city to kick in $20 million in development credits through lease rent credits. Winnecke says the deal will have long-lasting economic benefits for the city.
Tropicana Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio says "this is a substantial investment for Tropicana and demonstrates our commitment to the continued growth and development of Evansville and the surrounding region."
As part of the agreement between the city and Tropicana, the company will provide $1 million to re-locate the USS LST-325 memorial to the spot on the Ohio riverfront where the casino boat is currently docked.
The 75,000 square-foot facility will have one level and include new food, gaming, entertainment and beverage options. Construction is slated to begin early next year and take up up to two years to complete.