How Hard Rock is taking on the U.S. casino giants

Augusta Free Press
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If you have visited any major city in the world, you are likely to have seen a Hard Rock Café. In terms of the café, despite the American influence, the first Hard Rock Café opened for business in London in 1971 under the guidance of Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton. Having initially started with some elaborate decoration, the café quickly switch to the memorabilia theme we all know today.

Fast forward to 2007 and the Seminole Tribe of Florida acquired the Hard Rock brand, with ambitious plans in place to expand the business. In 1994, the first Hard Rock Live concert venue opened in Mexico City and just one year later we saw the introduction of the first Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Hard Rock International quickly built upon their first casino and have since opened a further 22 hotels and 10 casinos. With these in place, Hard Rock is beginning to challenge the U.S. casino giants and show now signing of stopping.

Hard Rock have recently opened a new casino in Gary, Indiana. The Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana officially opened on May 14 and the company are not going to settle for just one establishment in the state of Indiana. There are already plans in place to develop a second casino in Indiana, this time in the town of Terre Haute.

It has been reported the total amount of money Hard Rock are willing to commit to the Terre Haute project is $170 million. It is a huge sum of money and Hard Rock are clearly serious about wanting to enter the casino market in Indiana. The ambitious project will need financial approval from the IGC before it can begin. However, once this is granted, work is ready to commence at the start of August. There is one issue which needs to be cleared up involving Lucy Luck Gaming, which holds the gaming license in Terre Haute and has previously partnered with Hard Rock in Gary. However, due to the fact the issues surrounding some Spectacle Entertainment shareholders having a stake in Lucy Luck were resolved in Gary, there should be no problem in Terre Haute.

It is believed the new property will be a bit smaller than the recently opened Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino but will still see over 850 slots and 35 table games, making it one of the biggest casinos in the Hoosier State.

Hard Rock are clearly determined to challenge the big names in U.S. casinos, with the likes of MGM Mirage, Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Gaming, and Wynn Resorts in their sights. Not only will the introduction of a Hard Rock Casino in Terre Haute take footfall away from the other leading casinos in Indiana, but it will also attract custom from Illinois due to the proximity of the city with the state’s western border. That could see gamblers making the short trip across the border to play in the new Hard Rock casino, resulting in a loss of revenue for the other brands based in Illinois.

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