INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) — After much anticipation, a Vigo County casino license has been approved for Spectacle Jack, LLC.
The Indiana Gaming Commission unanimously approved the license Friday during a virtual meeting. Spectacle Jack was the only applicant.
Friday’s meeting was orginally scheduled for February, but it was cancelled due to an investigation involving Spectacle Entertainment, the parent company of Spectacle Jack, LLC.
Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said he’s excited for the project to move forward.
“This is just going to lead to other things. It’s just a matter of time until people take notice of Terre Haute,” he explained. “We’ve come such a long way. There have been so many improvements internally and now we’re beginning to do things externally. We can now sell our community to others and this is going to be a huge part of that.”
Spectacle Jack is partnering with Hard Rock International for the project.
“Landing a brand like Hard Rock is hitting the jackpot,” Spectacle Jack Chairman Greg Gibson told the IGC.
With the license approved, Spectacle Jack hopes to break ground by September an open to the public a year later.
The project is estimated to cost $120 million and will be located on Terre Haute’s east side near the Sycamore Shopping Center on more than 25 acres of land located off of State Road 46 at the intersection of Bill Farr Drive and Joe Fox Street.
Before the vote, Drew Klacik of the Public Policy Institute provided details of an economic impact study.
Klacik noted that the west central region is one of the most challenged areas of the state regarding attracting new jobs.
The casino is projected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Wabash Valley residents, in addition to 700 construction jobs.
“I hope to use all the local labor that we could possibly use for this project. You know i’ll have to work with hard rock. They are my partner. We’ll be involved with the construction process. It’s certainly my goal for local workers to be on that project,”said Gibson.
Terre Haute is expected to gain $3.3 million in tax revenue within the first year of the casino being open and $23 million over the first seven years.
Gibson says as a Terre Haute native, he’s in this for the community.
“What this will bring to the city of Terre Haute and Vigo Co. and the surrounding counties will be unbelievable. And it should vastly improve the quality of life for the residents of our area,” he said.