Spectacle Entertainment vice president and general council John Keeler, is the unnamed vice president and general council in a Federal court case in the Easter District of Virginia.
A Maryland political consultant has plead guilty to illegally funneling thousand of dollars from an Indianapolis based casino operator to an Indiana candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Strategic Campaign Group President Kelley Rogers was sentenced last week to three years in prison for fraud as part of the federal investigation.
Top executives of Centaur Gaming, former owner of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, are being investigated by the Indiana Gaming Commission after a political consultant pleaded guilty to federal charges of illegally funneling campaign contributions for the company in the Eastern District of Virginia.
The federal case in Virginia involving Centaur executives, who formed Spectacle Entertainment in 2018, prompted the Indiana Gaming Commission to cancel the Feb. 7 meeting granting Spectacle a Terre Haute casino license.
John Keeler, who was the vice president and general council for Centaur Gaming at the time, is the unnamed person for “Company A” that helped coordinate the transfer of $10,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Brent Waltz of Greenwood. Sen. Waltz served in Indiana General assembly from 2005-2017 when he decided to run for U.S. House seat vacated by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN) now U.S. Senator.
Centaur/Spectacle executives have been active lobbyists in the Indiana Legislature for many years, and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb faced a review of his dealings with CEO Rod Radcliff after it was revealed last March Radcliff had flown Gov. Holcomb on private jets to Republican Governors Association meetings in Colorado and Arizona. Radcliff and his company had donated over $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which gave Holcomb $7.6 million for his last campaign.
Speculation That Terre Haute Casino Deal was having the “Deck Stacked” in Favor of One Operator Has Been Around
Radcliff and Keeler were top executives of Centaur Gaming, which sold Hoosier Park and Indiana’s other racino, Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, to Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp. in 2018 for $1.7 billion. They immediately formed Spectacle Entertainment with Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson to buy the Gary casino operations along Lake Michigan and lobbied state legislators last year to allow its move to an on-land location.
Spectacle is moving one of its Gary casinos inland next to Interstate 80/94 in Gary. The other casino license they submitted back to the State in exchange for a $40 million dollar tax credit. Spectacle then was the only casino operator that submitted a bid for the casino license in Terre Haute, after obtaining the inside track with local political leaders and Greg Gibson’s vast property holdings along SR46, where it is proposing to build a $125 million casino and potentially hire 600 workers.
Before Terre Haute Casino Even Broke Ground, Politicians and Casino Casino Owner Wanted a Better Deal for Casino Operator.
The new Indiana investigation comes after Charles O’Neil, a vice president of Virginia-based Strategic Campaign Group, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to make illegal campaign contributions. He admitted to arranging for several people to write checks to the Indiana candidate’s campaign in 2015 with casino company money funneled through a fake $38,500 contract with Strategic Campaign Group for political work, according to court documents.
According to an expert in government affairs and public policy there is probably already a sealed indictment of the company, with 3 convictions all naming the executives at the company in their plea agreements.