The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) is all set to investigate Spectacle Entertainment for owning two casinos along Lake Michigan. Alongside carrying on this investigation, the regulatory body is also seeking to open a new casino on the eastern side of Terra Haute.
Spectacle Entertainment submitted the bid for obtaining a license for the Terra Haute Casino, proposing to build a $125 million casino that would eventually create 600 work opportunities. However, the meeting that was supposed to be held on February 7 at Vigo County, for granting the Terra Haute Casino license to Spectacle Entertainment was canceled by the commission, following the news of allegation of some of the Spectacle’s executives to illegally funneling the campaign contributions of Spectacle. The main accused in the case is the vice president of Strategic Campaign Group, Charles O’Neil, who was pleaded guilty in federal court in Arlington on Thursday.
He admitted that he helped in steering illegal corporate donations from Spectacle entertainment to an Indiana congressional candidate. However, the court documents did not name the alleged company or the accused candidate. However, a news channel confirmed the candidate to be Republican Brent Waltz (who contested in the 9th Congressional District primary elections in 2016 and lost the election) and the company to be Spectacle Entertainment. The news channel browsed through the records of the Federal Election Commission and found out the names of the accused. In the court documents, the company mentioned as “Company A,” and that it had funneled around $15,000 in illegal corporate donations to the present congress candidate.
O’Neil was found guilty for obliging people to write up cheques to Brent Waltz’s campaign in 2015 with the money of the casino company through a fake $38,500 contract with Strategic Campaign Group, which they said was for some political work. Following this, the President of Strategic Campaign Group, Kelley Rogers, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment last week.
To this, the Mayor of Terre Haute, Duke Bennett, said that though they are going through a little uncertainly right now, they hope to overcome all the negativities that surround Spectacle. In his words,
The gaming commission is a very professional group, they really dig into this stuff. I have always felt good about what they do to investigate anybody who has a license or wants a license. So I guess in some, you know, things shake out and that’s their job to vet those things and decide whether a particular entity is the right one or not. They’ll get that sorted out and we’ll all move on from that.