Full House is suing the Indiana Gaming Commission, asking the state, which awarded the Vigo County licence to Churchill Downs, to nullify the decision.
US.- The story of the Indiana Gaming Commission‘s Vigo County licence takes another turn. On November 17, the IGC granted the Vigo County casino licence to Churchill Downs after a 7-0 vote. However, Full House Resorts, the other finalist, has filed a lawsuit against the commission claiming it violated Indiana’s open door law regarding meetings. It says the licence decision should be nullified.
The complaint filed last Friday at Marion County Superior Court 2 in Indianapolis argues that hearing contravened Indiana’s open door law because the Gaming Commission adjourned into an executive session to discuss the proposals in the middle of the hearing.
Indiana codes cited by the lawsuit state that “a governing body may not conduct an executive session during a meeting.”
“After the mid-Hearing executive session, which contravenes the Open Door Law, the Commission returned to the Hearing,” the complaint reads. “Without any public debate, comment, discussion or explanation, the Commission voted to deny Full House’s application and grant Churchill’s application.”
In the complaint, Full House also suggested their proposal was better than that of Churchill Downs.
“Full House spent great time and expense to secure a highly visible site that approximately 11 million cars pass annually,” claims the business in the lawsuit, according to the Tribune-Star. “Full House’s destination complex was designed to essentially be a billboard to the millions of cars that drive by its site.”
The lawsuit argues that Churchill Downs proposed a far less visible site off the freeway on US 41, near a county jail and sewage treatment site with a rooftop bar that overlooks the jail and treatment plant.
Full House’s complaint says: “The nature of a sewage treatment plant in such close proximity to a public entertainment venue is counter-intuitive to any prudent, rational individual; the same can be said for locating an entertainment venue near a county jail.”
The lawsuit also argues that Churchill’s raising the possibility of an alternate site violates licensing rules. It states that this was included in an appendix presented to the Commission “was not publicly presented.”
“Churchill’s proposal of multiple and amorphous sites should have disqualified its proposal from consideration because Indiana law required one location to be provided in the application,” Full House argues.
The new twist comes after Lucy Luck, the original licensee for the Vigo casino aims to to appeal the commission’s decision to deny its licence renewal.
In June, the commission issued an order declaring Lucy Luck ineligible for renewal of its Vigo County casino owner’s licence. The commission said a qualified executive team had not been established and that Lucy Luck’s financing was incomplete. Elizabeth Gamboa, an administrative law judge, later stayed the non-renewal order.
In early November, the Gaming Commission rejected a settlement proposal from Lucy Luck Gaming. In that proposal, Lucy Luck asked that the state renew its Vigo County casino licence and allow it to pay minority investors per redemption agreements. It also asked that Hard Rock be allowed to take over Lucy Luck Gaming.
A hearing was scheduled for last week but it’s now been pushed back to February 17.