FHR-Atlas LLC and Full House Resorts LLC has dropped a lawsuit against the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Mike McMains, chairman of the Indiana Gaming Commission, said the commission is "pleased that Full House has dismissed these actions and that Vigo County and the greater community of west-central Indiana will soon benefit from this significant economic development project."

Jenny Reske, deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, said the measure allows the Vigo County casino project to move forward.

"We are free to move forward. We have already begun to plan a meeting with Churchill Downs to discuss timelines and projected opening dates," Reske said today.

The license to Churchill Downs was issued upon the dismissal of the Lucy Luck administrative appeal on Dec. 27, she said.

Judge Patricia McMath today ordered the matter dismissed after Full House filed a notice of dismissal on Tuesday in Marion County Superior Court.

Paul Vink, attorney with Bose McKinney & Evans, which represents Full House, sent a letter Tuesday to Dennis Mullen, general counsel for the Indiana Gaming Commission, stating that "Full House never intended for such action to delay economic development or be construed as malicious; rather, Full House sought clarity regarding the matters addressed in the filings through the only statutory, legal, and transparent means available."

Vink said Full House reviewed the Dec. 21 meeting of the Gaming Commission noting comments from McMains and other commission members.

"Although we disagree with the characterizations that were made regarding the motives and merits of our claims, the comments by the chairman and the other commissioners made clear that, even if the process were reopened or repeated, the outcome is unlikely to be different," Vink wrote.

In December, Full House filed a lawsuit in Marion County Superior Court 2 in Indianapolis arguing a hearing of the Indiana Gaming Commission contravened the Indiana Open Door Law because the Gaming Commission adjourned into an executive session to discuss the proposals in the middle of the hearing.

The complaint also suggests that Full House proposed a more desirable package. It says, “Full House spent great time and expense to secure a highly visible site that approximately 11 million cars pass annually. Full House’s destination complex was designed to essentially be a billboard to the millions of cars that drive by its site.”

By contrast, the lawsuit argues, Churchill Downs proposed a far less visible site off the freeway on U.S. 41, near a county jail and sewage treatment site with a rooftop bar that overlooks the jail and treatment plant.

Reske said the Gaming Commission still has that site as its location for a casino by Churchill Downs. Reske said Churchill Downs can file a request for a different location before the Gaming Commission.

Full House's complaint had sought the court to find that the commission violated the Open Door Law, to void the decision to deny Full House’s application and grant Churchill Downs’ application and prohibit the awarding of the license to Churchill Downs.

The measure now clears the path for Churchill Downs to obtain the Vigo County casino license. Lucy Luck Gaming last month reached an agreement to receive its $5 million license fee returned to Lucky Luck, dismissing its appeal against the Gaming Commission.
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