“All in on Terre Haute:” Full House Resorts’ plans for Terre Haute casino

“All in on Terre Haute:” Full House Resorts’ plans for Terre Haute casino


HEARD TESTIMONY REGARDING SENATE
BILL 3-54.
THE BILL WOULD ALLOW “FULL HOUSE
RESORTS” TO ESTABALISH A
CASINO IN TERRE HAUTE.
WHEN WE BROKE THIS STORY, YOU
RESPONDED WITH SEVERAL
QUESTIONS. NEWS 10’S JON SWANER
HAS
FOLLOWED IT ALL FROM THE
BEGINNING.
HE JOINS US NOW WITH SOME
ANSWERS.
JON… [C2]ALL IN ON TERRE HAUTE
PT 1-PKG NEWSROOM
////////////
IN OUR QUEST FOR ANSWERS, WE
WENT STRAIGHT TO THE SOURCE.
WE TALK WITH TWO EXECUTIVES WITH
FULL HOUSE RESORTS.
WE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THEIR
PLANS ARE FOR TERRE
HAUTE, AND WHY THEY BELIEVE
GAMING WILL HELP THIS
COMMUNITY. IT’S PART ONE “ALL
IN ON TERRE
HAUTE.” //////////
THE RISING STAR CASINO IN RISING
SUN, INDIANA LIES JUST ACROSS
THE
OHIO RIVER FROM CINCINNATI. FULL
HOUSE RESORTS SAYS THEY’RE
NOW THE SMALLEST CASINO OPERATOR
IN THE STATE.
“WHEN THE RISING STAR CASINO WAS
DEVELOPED HERE IN THE 90’S, IT
WAS A VERY MUCH SMALLER GAMING
MARKET HERE.” WHEN IT OPENED,
THE RISING STAR WAS ONE OF ONLY
THREE CASINOS IN THE CINCINNATI
MARKET. SINCE THEN, INDIANA
OPENED MORE CASINOS,
INCLUDING FRENCH LICK IN 2006,
AND RACINOS IN
ANDERSON AND SHELBYVILLE IN
2007.
“WHEN I STARTED HERE, IT WAS
JUST TWO CASINOS. NOW,
2007.
“WHEN I STARTED HERE, IT WAS
JUST TWO CASINOS. NOW,
THERE ARE 8 CASINOS.”
“AND OF COURSE, OHIO LEGALIZED
GAMING AND THERE’S BEEN
GAMBLING CASINOS IN THE
CINCINNATI AND DAYTON AREAS.”
THAT WAS IN 2011, HURTING RISING
STAR’S BOTTOM LINE. IN 1998, THE
RISING STAR MADE $160- MILLION
DOLLARS IN REVENUE. THAT
FIGURED DROPPED TO JUST OVER
$40-MILLION DOLLARS IN 2015.
“WE JUST DON’T HAVE THE NEED FOR
ALL THE GAMBLING GAMES
THAT WE’RE AUTHORIZED TO HAVE
HERE.” THE RISING STAR
LICENSE ALLOWS FOR UP TO 1500
GAMBLING GAME STATIONS.
HOWEVER, FULL HOUSE ONLY USES
HALF. THE IDEA BEHIND SENATE
BILL 354 IS TO MOVE THE UNUSED
750 GAMING STATIONS
UNDER THE RISING SUN LICENSE TO
A NEW TERRE HAUTE
FACILITY.
“IT WOULD BE AN INVESTIMENT
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN $100 TO
$150 MILLION DOLLARS, ALL
PRIVATE INVESTMENT BY
US.” FULL HOUSE WOULD ALSO BUILD
A HOTEL, SPACE FOR
ENTERTAINMENT AND MEETINGS,
RETAIL AND RESTAURANTS.
THE DECISION TO LOCATE A CASINO
IN TERRE HAUTE BOILS DOWN TO
GEOGRAPHY. THERE ARE NO CASINOS
IN INDIANA OR
ILLINOIS WITHIN A TWO-HOUR DRIVE
OF TERRE HAUTE.
“THAT ALLOWS US TO CAPUTRE A LOT
OF REVENUES FROM THE
ILLINOIS MARKET WHILE HAVING A
NEGLIGIBLE IMPACT ON OTHER
INDIANA CASINOS.” AT LAST
WEDNESDAY’S
PUBLIC POLICY HEARING,
REPRESENTATIVES FROM FRENCH
LICK RESORTS SAID THEY SUPPORT
SENATE BILL 354, WHILE
THE EVANSVILLE CHAMBER STRONGLY
OPPOSES IT. IF
THE BILL PASSES, FULL HOUSE
COULD OPEN A CASINO IN MID TO
LATE 2019 IF ALL GOES WELL,
ALTHOUGH FULL HOUSE RESORTS
HAS NO SPECIFIC SITE IN MIND.
“WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW IS
MEETING WITH LOCAL LEADERS
AND TRYING TO TAKE TEMPERATURES
ON WHAT WOULD
THE CITY PREFER.”
“AT OUR PROPERTY, YOU’RE ON A
BOAT, SO YOU
HAVE FOUR LEVELS ON A BOAT. AT
TERRE HAUTE, IT WOULD
BE A LAND-BASED FACILITY, SINGLE
FLOOR, NICE ENTRANCE.
YOU’LL GET A LOT OF BELLS AND
WHISTLES JUST FROM THE NEW
TECHNOLOGY THAT’S OUT THERE.”
WE’LL TALK MORE ABOUT THE
FINANCIAL WINDFALL TERRE
HAUTE COULD SEE FROM A CASINO,
AS WELL AS LOOK INTO HOW THE
CASINO WOULD AFFECT THE CITY,
ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF CRIME.
THAT’S TOMORROW AT 6 EASTERN ON
NEWS 10.

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