The Indianapolis-based developer of a proposed Hard Rock Casino in Gary plans to open the gambling venue in 2021. Spectacle Entertainment laid out a timeline of the $400 million project Tuesday to the Gary Plan Commission. According to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana, Spectacle Entertainment officials told commissioners that the gaming company hopes to open the land-based casino on December 31, 2020. A hotel and parking facility would follow within two to three years, according to the publication.
"We originally envisioned to do that all in one fell swoop, but then along came Illinois and that sort of set us back on our heels a little bit. But we’re committed to this project and committed to doing it in two phases," said John Keeler, Spectacle vice president and general counsel.
Earlier this month, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a measure allowing the state to expand the number of casinos from 10 to 16, including a so-called “mega-casino” in Chicago. The Illinois Gaming Board may also approve a license for southern Cook county. The Times says those additional casinos could draw customers away from gaming action in northwest Indiana, including the proposed Hard Rock casino.
Two weeks ago, Spectacle Entertainment announced a joint venture with Hard Rock International to brand and manage the Gary casino with that iconic name. Keeler told The Times of Northwest Indiana that if not for the Illinois gaming expansion and increased competition, Spectacle’s relocated Gary casino might not have been a Hard Rock Casino.
The Hard Rock is a replacement for the company’s Majestic Star casinos.