First Inland Casino In Northwest Indiana Takes Shape, Reopening Delayed

First Inland Casino In Northwest Indiana Takes Shape
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Hard Rock Casino in Gary, the first inland casino to stand in Northwest Indiana, takes shape on schedule, but its reopening date was rescheduled from the original date of Dec. 31. Spectacle Entertainment LLC’s Vice President and General Council John Keeler said the opening is tentatively in the first quarter of 2021.

Mr. Keeler confirmed that footings, steel frame, and the roof of the gambling facility are already in place. The official said the walls were installed, but lots of things need to be done. He also said they are about to bid for the interior work of the facility.

The new casino is expected to boost the Northwest Indiana gambling industry. The new in-land casino is expected to improve gambling tourism in the area. Guests from neighboring states and other countries are expected to be drawn to the entertainment the casino could bring.

Challenges during construction

Mr. Keeler said the troubles this year were all gone, and they see a bright future ahead. He also said the disease has minimal impact on the construction of the casino since they are using a construction type that didn’t require workers to do things in proximity.

The construction of the building continued despite the shutdown of many businesses in April. The mandate of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb allowed the development to move forward during the lockdown.

In late March, the management found that some of its construction materials and equipment were stolen when thieves broke in at trailers on site. Police reports said the stolen items, including concrete cutters, a sweeper, two generators, and other equipment, amounted to $25,000.

Some of the lands purchased of the company turned into additional challenges. The management found it hard to clear the area at 29th Avenue and Burr Street in Black Oak because they were used as junkyards. The construction team needed to clear out tons of thrown away tires before building the foundation of the casino.

In-land casino replaces Gary’s casino boats

The 200,000-square-foot casino is estimated at around $300 million. It can accommodate 1,650 slot machines, 80 table games. Hard Rock also included a 2,000-seat entertainment venue in the construction.

The new in-land casino was set to replace two Majestic Star casino boats Spectacle. The casino boats were purchased by the company in 2018 and were transferred to Buffington Harbor in Lake Michigan. Gary was given the signal by the assembly to relocate the boats last year. Spectacle gave up two licenses to the state, and a relocation fee amounting to $20 million was paid.

Spectacle Jack LCC, a subsidiary of Spectacle Entertainment, won the bid last month to a $125 million Terre Haute land-based casino. Keeler and Spectacle Entertainment CEO and chairman Rod Radcliff have withdrawn plans for the development of the Terre Haute Casino, paving the way for the construction’s approval.

Keeler and Radcliff were on the hot seat after they allegedly directed $15,000 illegal corporate contributions to an Indiana politician. There were no charges filed against them.

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