Spectacle Entertainment faces trouble in Indiana today as he Local Gaming Commission (IGC) has initiated an operator’s investigation after is had been discovered that somebody from the company had violated the policy campaign funding law. The Indiana Gaming Commission has postponed the hearing amid the ongoing affair which should rule on the Spectacle application for a new casino licence.
Spectacle currently operates two Indiana casinos and looking to get a licence for an additional one. Terre Haute is the location that the new casino will be built but everything will have to wait a while. The issue worsened after political consultant Charles O’Neill of Strategic Campaign Group Inc. pleaded guilty in federal court. The official has been accused of making unauthorised donations to the campaign for Centaur Gaming, predecessor to Spectacle.
Centaur was operated by Rod Ratcliff, who joined forces with Indiana businessman Greg Gibson to develop Spectacle after the company sold two properties for $1.7 billion to Caesars Entertainment. Spectacle had the right to purchase the Majestic Star riverboat casino out of Gary in November 2018 after the deal.
According to the details from the court documents, about $15,000 in “illegal corporate contributions” has been transferred to the Indiana official, and casino executive has received both. Records are from 2015. Federal prosecutors also say that the prosecution involved “Person A … the vice president and general counsel of Company A, a gaming corporation formed in Delaware and based in Indianapolis, IN.”
The company name can not be disclosed according to the court documents. The Indiana Gaming Commission has, however, clarified that it was Centaur. This prompted the Commission to postpone a hearing scheduled for February 7 that would discuss the suitability of Spectacle to acquire a Terre Haute casino licence. The IGC issued a notice concerning: “We are working to ascertain the immediate impacts of this information upon the new casino construction project in Gary. Majestic Star Casino will continue normal operations at this time.”
In the meantime Spectacle expressed its views on the situation: “Spectacle Entertainment has been made aware that a paid consulting firm, who once contracted with Centaur Gaming, has been implicated in charges related to campaign finance violations in Virginia. Spectacle pledges to fully cooperate with the Indiana Gaming Commission as it investigates this matter. We take such matters very seriously and we will share more information should additional details become available.”
Spectacle plans to launch Casino Terre Haute under the brand Hard Rock International. The organisation will however have to wait for the review process to be concluded and should count on potential delays in the event of additional problems.