DANVILLE, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — From Mayor Rickey Williams Jr.’s view, Danville, IL, has the upper hand on Terre Haute when it comes to securing a casino and the crowd it may bring.
“I think that we will have a casino sooner than they do in Vigo County, also I just think that there are going to be a lot of recreational things here to do that they may not be able to offer,” said Williams.
Some Indiana legislators, meanwhile, say Terre Haute is the better choice for a visit.
“We’re a busier city, I-70 is busier than I-74,” said Senator Jon Ford.
Senator Ford also points to the existing gaming opportunities in Illinois as a deterrent for travelers.
“We’ve been very purposeful in setting up a gaming market that’s not saturated, Illinois hasn’t paid much attention to that,” said Ford.
Mayor Williams says he doesn’t see an issue with existing gaming terminals because locals will still frequent their normal spots.
“In a casino, a large casino, they’re not going to necessarily know who you are, so I think that the neighborhood bars will draw more local people where as the casino, yes it will draw some local people, but it will also bring a lot of visitors to our community,” said Williams.
For Vermillion County officials, it’s about regional partnerships, such as the West Central 2025 Group that includes six counties surrounding Vigo County – counties that Indiana’s Gaming Bill says will directly benefit from a Vigo County casino.
“In the legislation we got into that 15% of the casino’s revenue goes into West Central 2025,” said Major.
And from Major’s view, what benefits Hoosiers wins every time.
“Those tax dollars stay locally, they stay in the state of Indiana,” said Major.
Danville has until October 28 to file an application to the Illinois Gaming Board.