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Opening set for new Gary casino after investigation’s delays

March 23, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new $300 million casino in northwestern Indiana is set to open in mid-May after delays caused by a state investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoings by the casino developer’s former top executive.

The Indiana Gaming Commission on Tuesday also approved a settlement with a $530,000 fine against Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment over missing by 53 days a deadline for ex-company CEO Rod Ratcliff to sell his ownership stake in the new Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary.

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Ratcliff agreed in early March to also permanently give up his state casino license after a couple decades as a heavyweight in Indiana’s gambling industry.

Hard Rock Casino executive Jon Lucas said the new casino was expected to open to the public on May 15. The new casino along Interstate 80/94 will replace the existing Majestic Star casino along Lake Michigan.

The developer of the planned $125 million casino in Terre Haute told the commission that a late April groundbreaking is planned for the project.

Ratcliff and another former Spectacle executive were forced last year to give up their ownership stake in the Terre Haute casino to business partner Greg Gibson after they faced allegations of making illegal political campaign contributions with casino company money.