CASINO

Full House Resorts wants to bring casino to Indianapolis

TAGs: Daniel Lee, Full House Resorts, Indiana Gaming Commission, indianapolis, Jasmine Solana, Rising Star Casino

Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts is seeking approval to move half of its Rising Star Casino Resort gambling capacity—about 500 slot machines and 15 gambling tables—to a proposed $650-million development at the Indianapolis International Airport.

Full House Resorts wants to bring casino to Indianapolis Full House Resorts wants to bring its gambling business to Indianapolis. The Las Vegas-based casino operator proposed a deal to let its Rising Star Casino move half of its gambling capacity—about 500 slot machines and 15 gambling tables—to Marion County.

In return, Full House will build a $650-million leisure place on a 135-acre parking lot near the old Indianapolis International Airport. The complex, dubbed the “American Place,” will include a 25-villa boutique hotel mainly for “casino high rollers,” a movie theater, a conference center, condominiums and office space, and a high-end creative retail space.

In a statement, Full House Resorts CEO Daniel Lee said the proposed casino resort stands to attract at least 10 million visitors annually, generate $85 million each year in state and local revenues, and create 4,000 permanent jobs.

Indiana officials have already restricted expanding gambling in the state due to stiff competition from other states, but Lee said his proposal will only transfer gambling operations from Rising Star, which operates in an “over-supplied” region in Cincinnati.

“We are simply intending to relocate gaming positions within Indiana, not seeking authorization for any new positions,” Lee said. “We are proposing to relocate approximately half of the gaming capacity from our over-supplied existing casino in Rising Star, so as to not increase the number of authorized gaming positions within Indiana.”

Rising Star, which opened in 1996, saw its business wane as more new casinos opened in Ohio. The casino resort’s net revenues declined to $11.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 from $13.2 million in the same period last year.

Other casinos in Indiana are showing marked growth. The Indiana Gaming Commission reported five casinos in the northwest side of the state posted $85.5 million in gambling revenue in July, up from $80.4 million in the same period last year.

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago led the pack with a year-on-year growth of 16 percent, from $17.6 million to $20.4 million. Horseshoe in Hammond is also a strong performer, growing 9.1 percent from $34.5 million to $37.7 million.

Blue Chip in Michigan City showed a modest gain of 2.5 percent, from $14.2 million to $14.5 million, while Majestic Stars in Gary was the only one that showed year-over-year losses of 8.5 percent, from $14.1 million to $12.9 million.

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