IGC and Lucy Luck reach settlement on Vigo County casino licence

Lucy Luck will get back its $5m licence fee.
Lucy Luck will get back its $5m licence fee.

The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved a settlement with Lucy Luck Gaming.

US.- The Indiana Gaming Commission has reached a settlement with Lucy Luck Gaming over the non-renewal of its Vigo County casino licence, which has been granted to Churchill Downs. Under the agreement, Lucy Luck will get back its $5m licence fee.

Greg Small, executive director of the Gaming Commission, said: “While the IGC is confident we would have prevailed in the matter, doing so would have taken months if not years of litigation. This settlement allows the ICG to avoid the legal cost of continuing the litigation.”

Commission chairman Michael McMains said: “I understand this was difficult. And clearly Mr. Gibson and Lucy Luck put the interest of their community above their own personal interest in reaching this settlement, and we really appreciate it.”

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.

On November 17, the Gaming Commission, in a 7-0 vote, declared it would grant the Vigo County casino licence to Churchill Downs for it to build and operate the Queen of Terre Haute casino in Vigo. However, another bidder, Full House Resorts is now suing the IGB over that decision.

It 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.

In the complaint, Full House said: “Full House spent great time and expense to secure a highly visible site that approximately 11 million cars pass annually. 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. It 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.”

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Churchill Downs Indiana Gaming Commission Vigo County casino