Indiana's First Land Based Casino Now OpenOctober 25, 2017 11:54 am
In 1995, Indiana’s first riverboat casino opened for business, but this month its operation was shut briefly while it moved across the street onto land as the renamed Evansville’s Tropicana Casino.
Last weekend, the $50 million venue then opened in an official ceremony to mark the occasion, complete with its 1,000 slot machines, 30 table games, dedicated poker room, as well as a range of other facilities, including an entertainment lounge, and two restaurants.
The evening proved a great success, too, with a Tropicana Evansville official acknowledging the historic occasion by stating that the venue now holds the distinction of having been both the state’s first riverboat, and now its first land-based casino. Also in attendance last Friday was Casino General Manager John Chaszar, who commenting upon the busy night, said:
“It’s a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.People asked me yesterday, ‘Are you excited?’ It’s like a vacation, I am not excited until I actually get there, and I am here. It is tremendous. It is just amazing collaborative effort. I am just truly, truly, truly excited.”
Needless to say, the new venue proved an instant success amongst the legion of people who showed up to its opening night, with one visitor, Patricia Eatman, commenting upon its more spacious and comfortable surrounding compared to the riverboat.
Also in attendance was Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who stated her belief that this represented the start of an ongoing process to move river boat casinos onto the land, which in turn should help transform Indiana into a more efficient market better able to compete against its rival neighboring states. Meanwhile, the City of Evansville and its community is now set to benefit from an influx of new visitors to the Tropicana Casino, with the Mayor of Evansville, Lloyd Winnecke, stating that the casino will enjoy a significant first-mover advantage.
Despite being cautiously optimistic, Winnecke said the city was still budgeting for the cash stream derived from the casino to remain the same as its present $12 million level, though, with the Mayor explaining:
“We took a very conservative approach to gaming budgeting for next year, in fact we budgeted it to be flat, but we anticipate it will be up.”
He also stated that this was just the beginning of an upward trajectory for the region.