Vigo County Voters Clear Way for Casino
TERRE HAUTE - Casino developers are facing a December 1 deadline to submit proposals to the Indiana Gaming Commission to build a casino in Terre Haute now that voters have given it the green light.
On Tuesday, 63 percent of Vigo County voters cast their ballots in support of a casino referendum while 37 percent voted against the move. Nearly 25,000 people voted in the county.
The IGC said it would not take any action on proposals before Vigo county voters decided if they wanted a gaming facility in the community.
"Overall I think it's a great statement Terre Haute has made to the rest of the state," State Senator Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) told our partners at WTHI-TV. "It says, we want opportunities here and we are open for business."
Ford said the goal for the casino project has always been to have a great overall impact on the local community.
Last month, the Advance West Central Indiana PAC released the results of a study it says shows the economic impact a casino would have on the Wabash Valley.
That study showed a casino in Terre Haute would create 650 full-time jobs at the casino, not including the hundreds of construction jobs created to build the gaming hall.
"We're looking at a minimum of $100 million of construction that will use local union labor," said Ford. "That includes over $30 million in payroll. They will take unskilled folks and train them to work in the casino creating a lot of opportunities for folks."
The IGC will study the developer applications. Ford expects it will announce the winning entry and award the gaming license in the first quarter of 2020, according to the TV station.
"Gaming companies go very quickly. I would anticipate sometime in the spring a groundbreaking and then 14 to 18 months of a construction build," said Ford.
Ford told WTHI he hopes to an operational casino in Vigo County by the summer of 2021.