High-stakes casino game rolls on
Like experienced poker players, advocates for a Terre Haute casino had
to play with patience and not get rocked by each hand as a bill to make a
casino possible in Vigo County wound through the General Assembly.no deposit casinos
House Bill 1015, which began life as Senate Bill 552, now awaits the
consideration of Gov. Eric Holcomb, having cleared the Legislature on
Wednesday. Further, if Holcomb does sign the bill, Vigo County voters
will have to give their OK for a local casino.Two things are certain:
Advocates including the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce are still in the
game, and so is Spectacle Entertainment LLC, the gaming company whose
leading partners include Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson.
“We will definitely be interested,” said John Keeler, a Spectacle vice
president and the company’s general counsel. The legislation calls for a
Vigo County referendum, either in this November’s general election or
in the 2020 spring primary.
Keeler said it’s in everyone’s best interest to hold the referendum this
fall.“The sooner the referendum is approved, the sooner the casino can
be built and employ people, through both the construction and operation
of the casino,” Keeler said.
Vigo County Clerk Brad Newman on Friday told the Tribune-Star he has not
yet fully considered when to hold the referendum.“I’ve not really
attacked it yet, and I’m out of town until at least Tuesday,” Newman
told the newspaper.
However, another Terre Haute media outlet, WTWO-TV, on Thursday reported
Newman as saying he hoped to have the question included on the fall
ballot. The Tribune-Star’s efforts on Thursday and Friday to reach Vigo
County Election Board President Kara Anderson were unsuccessful.
If the referendum were to fail, Vigo County wouldn’t be allowed to vote
on the question again for at least two years. If voters were to reject
the casino a second time, a third public question could not be held in
Vigo County for 10 years, per the legislation. But if word of mouth
means anything, Wabash Valley state Reps. Bob Heaton and Tonya Pfaff
have previously said they believe there is enough support in the county.
“I think it’s very important that Vigo County has the opportunity to
have a casino,” said Pfaff, D-Terre Haute, at a legislative
crackerbarrel session earlier this month. “What I believe is we need the
opportunity to let voters decide. From what I’ve heard, all kinds of
cities in Indiana want a casino and we need to at least have that