Local officials react to setback in Terre Haute casino process

Yesterday's news that the Lucy Luck gaming license would not be renewed bothered several lawmakers here in and around Vigo County.

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 5:33 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2021 6:40 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Thursday's news that the Lucy Luck gaming license would not be renewed bothered several lawmakers here in and around Vigo County.

"I think I just sat and just kind of stared at my computer for about 10 minutes in disbelief," said Indiana State Representative Alan Morrison, who represents Indiana's 38th district.

Full Statement from Lucy Luck Chairman Greg Gibson 

"The news we received today, although it wasn’t what we had anticipated or hoped for, isn’t the end of the journey. Lucy Luck Gaming has been prepared to begin construction on this project for months. We have worked tirelessly alongside many to bring this project to the Terre Haute community. We have developed our team, our finances, and detailed our operations to secure our license.Greg+Gibson However, more importantly, Terre Haute has worked hard for this project. The citizens have worked hard for this project. I am deeply disappointed in what came from today’s meeting, and disappointed that a community who has fought and stood ready received such news. I believe in my community, and I believe in this project. As for Lucy Luck, we may reapply, but I’m not sure if we will. We certainly have accomplished our original goal of bringing a gaming license to Vigo County. The community can take solace in the fact that there will eventually be a gaming facility here. It truly saddens me to know that the Terre Haute license will be open for a bidding process amongst companies who will be interested in the project solely for monetary gain, and with companies who don’t know our community like Lucy Luck does. For me, this project has always been about Terre Haute; it’s been about my home community. Terre Haute deserves this casino, and I wish it could be alongside Lucy Luck Gaming."

He also said it is a move that could hurt Terre Haute and Vigo County financially.

LINK | 'We may reapply, but I'm not sure if we will...' Gibson releases statement as Terre Haute's casino future is unsure

"It shocks me, just completely shocking to, to see that a state agency, again, work against economic development," said Morrison.

His strong message comes at a time where the fate of the casino comes into question. Companies have 90 days to re-apply for a new gaming license. That means there is still a chance for Lucy Luck to re-apply.

"We may have some prospects but Lucy Luck will be involved again and I'd like for that license to stay local," said Vigo County Commissioner Chris Switzer. "It seems like we're gonna start over and go back to square one, but it's okay. Trying to stay positive as a local elected leader."

The next 90 days will likely tell a lot about the future of the casino.

"This will get done. This casino will be built," said Morrison.

He followed up by saying this would not happen without a fight against the gaming commission.

"We have to continue to battle a gaming commission. I'm gonna say it again and again. A group of unelected bureaucrats that think they're doing their job well when actually what they're doing is hurting Hoosiers."

The next three months will be the most important in getting the facility built.

Indiana law dictates this particular casino license to Vigo County.

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