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Churchill Downs Says Indiana Casino Construction Is ‘Haute-ing’ Up

Written By Derek Helling on May 24, 2023
terre haute indiana streets will be path to new casino in early 2024

It seems that in Terre Haute, Indiana, things are finally going according to plan for Churchill Downs. After some delays, the company can now say the casino in southwestern Indiana is on schedule.

Exactly how the introduction of Indiana’s 14th casino will affect the gambling industry in the state is unclear as of yet. For Churchill Downs, though, it could provide an opportunity to expand its online gambling footprint.

Terre Haute Casino GM confirms opening target

The good news for Terre Haute residents is that there is no news. News of the truly significant kind, that is. The casino’s general manager, Mike Rich, told Hill Kerby of PlayIndiana that “the casino is still scheduled to be open at the end of the first quarter of 2024.”

Kirby reports that Churchill Downs has been able to work around requirements from the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA expressed concern over the original height of the casino because of its proximity to Terre Haute’s airport.

While that caused a delay and forced Churchill Downs to downsize its facility, the adjustments are now in the past. The casino should open sometime in late March or early April. That’s provided there are no more surprises, of course.

A pleasant surprise could be awaiting Churchill Downs in the near future because of its investment in Indiana. At the same time, Churchill Downs might have been planning for this potential opportunity all along.

Online casino legalization could diversify Churchill Downs’ revenue

Earlier this year, the Indiana legislature considered legalizing real-money online casino play. Ultimately, the bill fell short of enactment. However, that might just be the first act of a longer drama. Proponents plan to try again in 2024.

Should Indiana eventually legalize real-money online casino apps, it would likely do so in a format that follows its regulated system for online sports betting. That gambling runs through the state’s casinos, off-track betting sites and racetracks.

For that reason, it’s likely that Churchill Downs would receive a license to offer such games online. Additionally, it would probably have a few opportunities to contract with other online casino operators to operate in Indiana under its license. That would mean additional revenue.

All of that is currently hypothetical. Its brick-and-mortar casino interests in Indiana are quite tangible. If Churchill Downs is successful in operating the casino, it could generate a decent amount of revenue for the company.

When the end of the first quarter in 2024 arrives, Churchill Downs will discover whether some Indiana gamblers like it Haute.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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