Guitar-Smashing Event Marks Opening of Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino

Hard Rock Atlantic City
Two decades after first proposed land-based casino in Gary, The Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino opened its doors to the public last Friday.

In an event only Hard Rock could pull off, the Indiana casino’s opening was marked by more more than two dozen casino officials, local dignitaries, and popular musicians smashing logo-emblazoned guitars in front of sparkler fireworks, backed up by the sound of Fall out Boy’s “Light ‘Em Up”.

But more than the star-studded, guitar-smashing, rock and roll event that took place, the opening was regarded as the start of a promising future for Steel City.

A $300M Gambling and Entertainment Destination

The $300M gambling and entertainment destination replaces the former Majestic Star Casinos that operated from Lake Michigan from Gary’s Buffington Harbor for the past quarter of a century. It is the first land-based commercial Indiana casino built away from its dockside location.

The Hard Rock in Gary includes a casino that has 1,600 slot machines and 80 table games, five restaurants including a Hard Rock Cafe, a 1,954-seat Hard Rock Live performance venue, a gift shop, and an on-site sportsbook. The casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests, including those at its restaurants, must be at least 21 years old to enter.

Building Local Partnerships

Sen. Eddie Melton, a proponent of the 20119 Indiana law authorizing the relocation of the Gary Casino, said that the opening of the Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino opens the door for economic growth and endless opportunities. Melton talked about Gary going from one of the state’s lowest income-generating casinos at Buffington Harbor to a location with over 200,000 cars a day passing by.

The Hard Rock Casino in Gary employs around 1,200 locals across the property and has pledged to prioritize Gary and Northern Indiana companies in its spending just as it did during its construction phase. Hard Rock says it will continue to build local partnerships and help local vendors provide products and services to the Indiana casino.

Hard Rock Casino Near Bakersfield Gets Approval from Federal Government

Casinos in California
The Hard Rock Cafe & Casino project near Bakersfield moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the federal government gave its approval for the Tejon Indian Tribe to operate a casino venue at the proposed location.

In a statement, Tejon Indian Tribe chairman Octavio Escobedo III said:

“From the start of our relationship with the United States government in 1851, our Tribe has fought for a homeland for our people. Today we are two major steps closer to that dream. The Department’s decision enables us to move closer to the promise of self-determination through economic development.”

Up to Gov. Newsom Now

As reported by the Bakersfield Californian, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney issued a secretarial decision that that found the proposed Bakersfield casino site suitable for the Tejon Indian Tribe’s plans. In the decision, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs wrote that the Bakersfield casino best allows the Tejon Indian Tribe to be self-sufficient and maintain a stable source of income for government projects.

The environmental review process began as early as 2016. With the Federal Government’s determination, the onus is now with Gov. Gavin Newsom, who must concur with the decision of the Federal Government within a year. If the governor agrees, the U.S. Department of Interior will take the land into trust and the tribe will finally have a land they can call home.

A $600M Project

The Tejon Indian Tribe Bakersfield casino project is located in Mettler which is about 14 miles away from Bakersfield. The tribe is planning to build a 166,500 square foot gaming venue there, along with an 11-storey luxury hotel. The hotel building will have 400 rooms, more than 10 restaurants, a convention space, as well as a Hard Rock live events center. A sheriff’s office, fire station, and an RV park are also be built on the site.

The Bakersfield casino project has an estimated cost of $600M and the entire complex is expected to support 3,000 full-time jobs once operational. Hard Rock consultant Scott Nielson said that there are still several steps that need to be completed before an official timeline for the project could be made public.