Indiana officials forcing out longtime casino executive | Nation

“In the meantime, the state’s in jeopardy, the community in Gary is in jeopardy, employees are in jeopardy because we’ve got a project we have to deal with, and dealing with it in the midst of this chaos makes me very uncomfortable,” Williams said.

Spectacle Entertainment said in a statement it hoped for a quick resolution and that the new Gary casino could “proceed as planned with minimal delay.”

The commission suspended Keeler’s casino license in September after he was indicted on federal charges and on Wednesday gave him until Jan. 15 to sell all his interest in Spectacle.

Ratcliff and Keeler, a lawyer who was a Republican legislator for 16 years in the 1980s and 90s, have been active lobbyists in the Indiana Legislature for many years on casino matters. They pushed lawmakers in 2019 to allow the Gary casino’s move from along Lake Michigan to a more lucrative location next to Interstate 80/94 in Gary. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb faced a state ethics review last year of his dealings with Ratcliff.

Ratcliff and Keeler were leaders of the former Centaur Gaming and among those who formed Spectacle after selling Centaur’s horse track casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville to Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp. in 2018 for $1.7 billion.



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