Casino interested in Land by Indianapolis Airport

Last year, the Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts Inc. proposed a $650 million casino resort by the Indianapolis International Airport. It’s unclear if Indiana legislators are seriously interested in this proposal, but regardless, Full House still wants to develop 130 acres of land around the state’s capital.

Full House currently runs the Rising Sun casino in Rising Sun, Indiana, which is on the Ohio River. The Rising Sun casino is located strategically between Cincinnati, OH and Louisville, KY, but they also have to compete with Cincinnati’s Jack casino.

Their goal is to move their operation northwest to a bigger area with less competition, which makes Indianapolis very appealing.

The big catch, though, is that both Indiana’s legislature and Governor Mike Pence are opposed to expanding gambling. So it seems like a long shot that their Indianapolis proposal would be approved with a casino involved.

But as the Indy Star reports, Full House might be willing to go through with the project even if it doesn’t include gambling.

“We’d be interested. It’s a great site,” said Dan Lee, Full House’s CEO. “We were excited by what we designed and, ultimately, we would’ve tried to get a casino in it, but we were willing to commit to developing a project without a casino if the legislature didn’t approve one.”

The state’s Airport Authority was considering signing a deal with a development group called Athlete’s Business Network (ABN). ABN’s proposal calls for a $500 million sports medical complex that would treat brain injuries.

However, the Airport Authority grew leery of ABN’s plan because this would be the company’s first major real estate project. So they are now seriously looking at Full House’s plan, which would include a theater, office space, lifestyle complex and 200 condos.

“Frankly, then (the Airport Authority) would’ve been faced with two different proposals that were very similar in economics,” Lee explained. “But one of them is from a guy who went bankrupt, who said he could raise the money down the road, and the other is from a public company that operates casinos.”

The proposals are still being reviewed, and the casino idea is still up for debate. But as it currently looks, Full House’s best bet is to probably develop the complex without a casino included.