Indiana entrepreneur, Rod Ratcliff appears to have ticked off the wrong people in his home state this month, as the Indiana Gaming Commission makes a move to revoke his licenses. Ratcliff led a group in 2018 to purchase the Majestic Star Casino Hotel, a floating casino, and the Majestic Star Casino Hotel II properties, under his Spectacle Entertainment group. Now the licenses for both those establishments, among others are under threat.
What Has Happened?
According to reports in The Indianapolis Star, Ratcliff recently relocated one of his riverboat casinos to a more prosperous locale, further up Interstate 94. This site is believed to be a land-based site, and that venue is set to become the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana later in 2021.
Subsequent investigations, including allegations that Ratcliff had funnelled funds into a state lawmaker’s congressional run, forced the entrepreneur to sell his stake in the new Hard Rock venture and saw his license revoked. He then proceeded to sue to the Indiana Gaming Commission on account of him allegedly not being able to sell his share “on his own terms”.
Loss of License
This week, the Indiana Gaming Commission doubled down on their efforts, announcing that they would seek the removal of gambling licenses owned by and awarded to Mr Ratcliff. They claim he allegedly diverted $900,000 in funds from one of his casinos to his personal accounts without disclosing the information when applying for one of the said licenses.
The alleged submission of false information, and “hiding conduct” charges would be enough for Ratcliff to have his gambling license revoked. He has also allegedly refused to meet with investigators, which has only added further fuel to the fire.
What Happens Next?
It is not immediately apparent what the next move will be. Should he have all his licenses removed permanently (as appears to be the wishes of the Indiana Gaming Commission), the casinos he either owns or holds stakes in would have two choices. On the one hand, they might consider forcing Ratcliff to sell his stake, thus allowing them to operate under new licenses. On the other, they would lose their gambling licenses, affectively terminating their business operations.
An announcement on the matter will be made in due course, as Rod Ratcliffe and the Indiana Gambling Commission are set to square off on the issue in court later this quarter.