Terre Haute Casino: Indiana Settles with Lucy Luck, But Complete House Files New Lawsuit

Terre Haute Casino: Indiana Settles with Lucy Luck, But Complete Home Files New Lawsuit

Posted on: December 21, 2021, 08:52h.&nbsp

Last updated on: December 21, 2021, 08:52h.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) announced Tuesday that it reached a settlement with the former license holder for the prolonged-awaited Terre Haute casino. And while commissioners and workers are eager to move forward with the new licensee, one more legal challenge now lingers above the task.

Terre Haute casino
Full House Resorts presents its proposed casino for Terre Haute at last month’s Indiana Gaming Commission meeting. Final week, the Las Vegas-primarily based firm filed a lawsuit towards the IGC in search of to block the agency from awarding the license to Churchill Downs. (Picture: Casino.org)

In brief, the IGC approved a settlement with Lucy Luck to finish its appeal of the commission’s choice against them in June. The commission also formally authorized awarding a new license to Churchill Downs Incorporated, which programs to create a $240 million casino there.

But just before Tuesday’s votes, IGC Executive Director Greg Tiny brought up the lawsuit and protest filed just lately by Total Residence Resorts.

The commission formally received the documents on late Monday afternoon. Modest explained there was some discussion about pulling the Churchill Downs license vote from Tuesday’s meeting, but the commission workers opted towards that.

Full Property also submitted a bid for the Terre Haute casino, as did Tough Rock Worldwide and Premier Gaming Group. After listening to the 4 companies’ presentations at the Nov. 17 meeting, the commission voted to get rid of Challenging Rock’s and Premier from consideration. Following ultimate pitches from both finalists, the commissioners went into executive session.

Upon their return, a vote for Complete Residence was rejected, and the commissioners then subsequently voted unanimously for Churchill Downs to get the license as soon as it grew to become obtainable.

Complete Property Can make A number of Accusations in Lawsuit

In the lawsuit, filed Friday in Indianapolis, the Las Vegas-based mostly business claims the Churchill Downs’ application need to be disqualified simply because officials with the Louisville-primarily based business stated they had been open to putting the casino elsewhere in or close to Terre Haute. Complete Home states that the laws with regards to casino applications require firms to record the street handle for the proposed casino.

Churchill Downs was the only bidder to propose creating the casino on the western side of Terre Haute. In the complaint, Full Residence notes that the offered internet site would sit up coming to both the new Vigo County jail and a sewage treatment method plant.

In addition, the company claims the IGC violated state open meetings laws when it went into executive session throughout the meeting and did not have any public debate prior to the vote. Also, Total Home mentioned in the suit that the only member of Churchill’s Indiana law company who attended the meeting was former IGC Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait, who left the commission soon after the application method for the Terre Haute casino was restarted.

The lawsuit seeks to void both votes and block the IGC from awarding the license to Churchill Downs.

Role of Former IGC Executive Director Questioned

In a separate filing, Total House also appealed the IGC’s determination just before the Workplace of Administrative Law Proceedings (OLAP). The firm brought up the exact same arguments as it did in the court situation, but it added much more information about its claims concerning Tait.

The appeal mentioned that her physical appearance at the hearing “certainly presented ‘help’ or ‘aid’ to Churchill,” irrespective of whether or not it was intentional or if she was compensated.

“At a minimal, the Commission’s former executive director’s presence at the meeting lent unlawful support to one particular applicant and signifies that the Commission’s selection was not ‘otherwise in accordance with law,’” Total House’s appeal stated.

Full Home mentioned it would need discovery to decide if Tait aided or recommended Churchill Downs past attending the meeting.

Indiana Gaming Officials Counter at Meeting

Like most companies, the IGC has a policy against commenting on pending litigation, but Small informed the commissioners he felt some response was necessary.

He said that Complete House’s claims were “meritless” and that the Nov. 17 meeting was held in line with Indiana law. Small also expressed disappointment that Total House chose legal action that could more delay a casino that Vigo County voters approved much more than two many years ago.

Tiny wasn’t alone in commenting on the lawsuits, and some commissioners have been even more pointed in their remarks.

Chairman Michael McMains moved at the Nov. 17 meeting to award the license to Full Property. On Tuesday, he mentioned that might have been a error.

When it comes to offering a license to a gaming business, McMains explained Indiana law calls for the commission to contemplate an applicant’s integrity, track record, and habits.

Frankly, this action of filing these complaints can only be viewed by me as sour grapes,” the chairman mentioned. “I consider it is vindictive. It is malicious. I consider it’s frivolous. I’m embarrassed for Complete Residence for having completed this.”

McMains even went so far as questioning what the business hoped it would accomplish due to the fact he doubted the IGC would alter its thoughts.

Lucy Luck Appeal Settled, Firm Refunded $five Million

So, while a new legal threat has emerged, the commission did end a 6-month standoff with Lucy Luck. The IGC in June voted to not renew the company’s license after it had failed to make any progress on building a casino and did not have essential leadership positions filled.

Greg Gibson, a Terre Haute businessman and proprietor of Lucy Luck, appealed the selection, and the OLAP issued a remain in the case. That prevented the IGC from straight awarding the license at its meeting last month.

The commission and Lucy Luck had talked about settling the situation, and although Small imagined the IGC would have prevailed, he added that the principal concern was preventing added delays on the Terre Haute casino.

As part of the settlement with Lucy Luck, the commission agreed to refund the $5 million casino license charge to Gibson’s organization. The commission’s not always hunting at it as lost income as Churchill Downs will pay out the state $5 million for its license.

That, of program, is pending the latest legal hurdle.

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