Rod Ratcliff Sues Indiana Gaming Commission in Response to License Suspension

Posted on: January 20, 2021, 07:52h.

Last updated on: January 20, 2021, 08:02h.

Spectacle Entertainment founder and former CEO Rod Ratcliff has filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Gaming Commission. The move comes nearly a month after the state regulatory agency suspended his license as part of an ongoing investigation into the Indianapolis-based gaming company

Rod Ratcliff Lawsuit
Rod Ratcliff Lawsuit
Rod Ratcliff (center) talks at Indiana Grand in July 2018 at the renaming of the track’s turf course in his honor. On Wednesday, he filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Gaming Commission challenging its order to suspend his gaming license. (Image: Rachel McLaughlin/YouTube)

The longtime Indiana gaming executive founded Spectacle in 2018 after selling Centaur Gaming to Caesars Entertainment. The nearly year-long investigation by the IGC began after Centaur was determined to be part of a federal case involving illegal campaign contributions.

Ratcliff has not been indicted in the case. However, former Spectacle General Counsel John Keeler was indicted in September. Keeler held a similar position at Centaur under Ratcliff.

That case has led the Commission to delay allowing the transfer of assets from Spectacle’s Majestic Star Casino in Gary to Hard Rock Northern Indiana, a land-based joint venture between Spectacle and Hard Rock International in the northwest Indiana city.

Our goal during the past several months has been to secure a fair hearing for Rod Ratcliff while also working towards creating jobs and opportunities through the opening of the new casino in Gary, Ind.,” said Robert Vane, a Ratcliff spokesperson in a statement. “By operating outside of its legal scope and unfairly judging Mr. Ratcliff as guilty by association, the Indiana Gaming Commission has created a problem where none existed and delayed what will be a significant contributor to the Lake County economy. Mr. Ratcliff and his team have been working to meet the demands of the Commission, but he will not surrender his constitutional rights in the process.”

The Commission formally suspended Ratcliff’s license on Dec. 23. At that time, it gave Ratcliff until Jan. 8 to appoint a suitable trustee to oversee his shares. As of last week, a trustee had not been named. The suspension is scheduled to last 90 days. After that time, the IGC may vote to revoke his license.

Keeler’s license, initially suspended in September after his indictment, was formally revoked at the same hearing. Both men have appealed those orders.

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