The saga surrounding a planned casino in Terre Haute continues. Our partners at WTHI-TV report the Indiana Gaming Commission has reached a settlement with Terre Haute-based Lucy Luck Gaming, allowing it to award the open gaming license to Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq: CHDN), but a new lawsuit threatens to further delay the project.
Lucy Luck Gaming was the original holder of the gaming license for Vigo County. However, the commission denied a request to renew the license in June, citing a lack of funding and an executive team for the project.
Lucy Luck appealed the commission’s decision and made a settlement offer last month, which was also denied. During the appeal process, the commissioned reopened applications for the license with four developers applying.
Churchill Downs (CDI) was chosen last month to operate the casino with its plan for the $240 million Queen of Terre Haute. The developer proposed a nearly 400,000-square-foot casino building that would include 56,000 square feet of gaming space featuring 1,000 slots and 50 table games. A 125-room hotel is also planned.
Since Lucy Luck’s appeal was still ongoing, CDI was awarded a “certificate of suitability,” which allowed the company to begin work on the project.
As part of the settlement agreement, Lucy Luck will surrender the gaming license and the commission will refund the $5 million license fee paid by the company. Now that a settlement has been reached, the commission has officially awarded the license to CDI.
However, WTHI reported last week that one of the other applicants, Full House Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ: FLL), has filed a lawsuit against the commission.
Full House claims the commission violated the state’s open door law by holding an executive session during its regular meeting, during which the company believes the commission decided who would receive the license.
During the commission’s meeting Tuesday, Executive Director Greg Small said the commission would not comment on pending litigation, though he added the lawsuit is without merit.