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The Indiana Gaming Commission approved Spectacle Jack’s application for a new casino in Terre Haute.

Spectacle Jack filed an amended application, with two executives of Spectacle Entertainment removed, after the commission started an investigation into them regarding charges related to campaign finance violations in Virginia.

The Terre Haute casino is planned to be a Hard Rock Casino, just like the casino that Spectacle is building in Gary.

Spectacle Jack LLC, a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment plans to build a 100,000-square-foot casino that would offer a total 1,200 machines and gaming tables.

The application spells out how the Rocksino at Terre Haute would be built on more than 25 acres at the southwest side of the intersection of Bill Farr Drive and Joe Fox Street, immediately south of the Walmart supercenter along U.S. 40/Indiana 46 on the east side of Terre Haute.

The plan calls for the casino to be built in the middle of the property with more than 1,500 parking spaces surrounding the building.

Upon entering the casino, the plan calls for guests to be greeted by a bifurcated gaming area, separated by the “yellow brick road” walkway running between the main entrance and the center bar.

The pair of gaming areas on either side of the walkway will have a mix of slot machines and table games. The plan, as submitted to the state, features 1,150 slot machines and 50 table games.

Around the perimeter of the gaming floor, a number of amenities are planned, including:

• A Hard Rock Cafe, the centerpiece of the Hard Rock brand. The cafe is planned to have seating for 125 guests and feature the customary accouterments.

• A steakhouse, described as the casino’s fine dining option, with seating for 60.

• A buffet with seating for 175 guests.

• Hard Rock branded center bar and sportsbook. The “energetic space” is planned to seat 75 guests and is to be considered the center of activity for the casino floor, according to the application.

• A Hard Rock branded coffee shop, the Constant Grind, that serves up to 25 guests a variety of food, beverages, and convenience items 24-hours a day.

• A 300-seat entertainment venue, Velvet Sessions, capable of hosting live music, comedy events and other events. The application says space can be transformed to host any type of event from a poker tournament, to business events and meetings, to a cocktail reception or a wedding.

• A high limit lounge complete with a private bar and light snack service.

• A Rock Shop, Hard Rock’s gift shop, that will sell branded merchandise alongside snacks and sundries.

Overall, the building has an estimated maximum occupancy of 5,900 to serve a projected 1.2 million guests per year.

Rocksino to be filled with food and games
Submitted drawing of the Floor plan: This preliminary floor plan of the Hard Rock-themed ‘Rocksino’ on Terre Haute’s east side shows a large central gaming area surrounded by a steakhouse, Hard Rock Cafe restaurant, center bar, showroom and sportsbook area and coffee shop along with high-limit gaming and Players Club areas.

Spectacle leadership projects the casino will generate $120 million in gaming revenue in its first full year and $840 million in its first seven years. Those numbers figure to generate $6.5 million in local tax revenue in the first year and $45 million in its first seven years. 

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says he’s “certain in his heart” the casino will be a positive development.

“For not only Terre Haute and Vigo County, but west-central Indiana and the entire state of Indiana,” Bennett says.

Local agreements and revenue estimates project the new casino will send $45 million to local communities and $181 million to the state in gaming revenue in its first seven years.

An analysis prepared for the gaming commission by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute suggests the casino will have an initial economic impact of $126 million, with more than 1,000 jobs created in the area.

The Institute’s Drew Klacik says that it does not take into account the effects of COVID-19. But he says it’s possible any such impact will be less significant by the time the casino opens.