Horseshoe registers opposition to casino market changes –

A move of Gary’s Majestic Star Casino and the transfer of one of its two gaming licenses to another community would mean a disruption to the gaming industry that would negatively impact other casinos and their investment plans, a local casino executive said last week.

The city of Gary’s vision to turn Buffington Harbor into an intermodal transportation hub has renewed talk of a Majestic Star move from the lakeshore. But Horseshoe Casino Sr. Vice President and General Manager Dan Nita said that would disrupt the heavily regulated gaming business model, and would upset the balance the state has maintained among companies and communities involved in the industry.

“We operate with a very defined set of ground rules,” Nita said. “This gives all the operators a sense of security, knowing the goal line won’t be moving.”

Nita said Horseshoe parent Caesars Entertainment has invested $1.7 billion in the purchase of two Indiana racetrack-casino facilities, and is building a new $85 million Horseshoe Southern Indiana on its existing Ohio River-bank property. Nita said a move of a casino inland — including a potential Gary casino at Interstates 65 and 80/94 — and the potential for licenses to be moved to new communities would put future investments like those into question.

“The threat of licenses being moved — it’s a domino effect. You don’t know where it will stop,” Nita said.

The issue heated up in October when the Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Commerce and Economic Development endorsed Gary’s desire for an intermodal hub at Buffington Harbor.

The committee stated in its Oct. 30 report that it “supports the continued pursuit of the area’s highest and best use as an intermodal hub,” and called for “the necessary move of the Majestic Star Casino to an alternate location within the city to

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