The latest Indiana casino project is officially underway.
In November 2021, Churchill Downs Inc. was awarded the right to develop a casino in Terre Haute in western Indiana, near the Illinois border.
On Tuesday, groundbreaking was held for that project, the Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort, as local dignitaries attended.
According to a release in February from CDI, the total scope of the project involves the development of 400,000 square feet, at least 500 permanent jobs and another 1,000 jobs during construction.
In 2019, voters in Vigo County (where Terre Haute is the country seat) approved a ballot measure for the construction of a casino. About two-thirds of voters favored the project.
Late in 2021, the Indiana Gaming Commission gave its approval to Churchill Downs, which operates the famed Kentucky horse racetrack (home of the Kentucky Derby) and more than a dozen facilities around the nation.
The 50-acre project is at 4442 East Margaret Drive, just off of Interstate 70.
According to the Tribune-Star newspaper in Terre Haute, the project is expected to cost $260 million and will include 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games and a 10-story hotel, plus common amenities such as bars, restaurants and a lounge.
“It is real now,” Terre Haute mayor Duke Bennett said, according to the Tribune-Star, which referred to the fact that the idea of a casino in town had been bandied about for decades. “It is actually going to happen.”
The Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort is projected to open in late 2023.
There is no real money online casino gaming in Indiana.
Two proposals to legalize iGaming in The Hoosier State fell short at the committee stage in 2022. Still, companies are keeping an eye on Indiana in case it joins the list of six states that offer online gaming.
For instance, PlayUp agreed to a deal in April to offer its online gaming products in Indiana when they become available there. Presently, iGaming is legal in West Virginia, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The 12 commercial casinos currently operating in Indiana combined for $211 million in total win for May, down a bit from April but still the fourth consecutive month of revenue in excess of $200 million.