SHELBYVILLE, Ind. , June 9 -- After receiving a green light late Saturday night from the state Gaming Commission, Indiana Live Casino opened its doors today ( Monday, June 9, 2008 ) inside a temporary structure on the grounds of Indiana Downs, located along Interstate 74 in Shelbyville, Ind.
More than 1,900 high-tech slot machines and electronic gaming devices are complemented by the world-renowned cuisine of Wolfgang Puck inside Cafe Live by Wolfgang Puck. Indiana Live Casino may employ up to 350 people at its temporary, 70,000-square-foot location.
"This has been an exciting process for everyone involved with The Cordish Company, Indiana Downs and Indiana Live Casino," said Mark Hemmerle , general manager of Indiana Live Casino. "We are elated that this day has finally arrived and that we have gained approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission to welcome everyone throughout central Indiana and beyond to experience the latest, greatest and most exciting Vegas-style casino Indiana has to offer."
Indiana Live Casino staged a 10-hour VIP event Friday that served as a test run of the casino before the state gaming commission. Hundreds of exclusively invited guests were able to experience the casino's high-tech slots and electronic gaming devices and dine at Cafe Live by Wolfgang Puck during the event. Prior, a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony featured a special designation by Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson , who proclaimed Friday as "Indiana Live Casino Day" in Shelby County .
Before Indiana Live Casino could officially open to the public, it was required to undergo Friday's comprehensive gaming commission auditing process that thoroughly scrutinized operations and ensured internal policies and procedures met state-enforced industry regulations.
"Indiana Live Casino's reality has been a day-and-night effort between East Coast and Midwest teams dedicated to a mutual business venture, the rules and regulations of the state's industry regulators and the interests of those throughout central Indiana who seek the thrills of challenging gaming, fine dining and excellent nightlife," Hemmerle said. "We've been working around the clock to get this temporary facility up and open and now that the day's here, we look forward to our next milestone - opening the permanent Indiana Live Casino in January. This has been an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience."
In January, the temporary site will give way to a sprawling, 233,000- square-foot permanent Indiana Live Casino connected to the Indiana Downs clubhouse. The permanent site will feature not only the slots and electronic gaming devices but also upscale dining and nightlife destinations, including Maker's Mark Steakhouse, NASCAR Sports Grille, Live Market featuring international foods in a fresh-market atmosphere and both the Angels Rock Bar and Mosaic Center Bar. Up to 650 people may be employed by Indiana Live Casino at its permanent home.
"All of that -- combined with both live and simulcasting horse racing at Indiana Downs, you just can't ask for more," Hemmerle said.
Today's public opening of Indiana Live Casino will be followed by several exciting events this week, including a concert series beginning Thursday in the casino's 5,000-seat outdoor concert venue. Blood Sweat and Tears performs Thursday, followed by Kenny Loggins on Friday, Vertical Horizon and The Calling on Saturday and Phil Vassar with special guest Jeremy McComb on Sunday.
Indiana Live Casino, located at Indiana Downs, is the closest casino to downtown Indianapolis . Located just 20 minutes from downtown Indianapolis off Interstate 74 at Exit 109 in Shelbyville, Indiana Live Casino is central Indiana's newest destination for the best in exciting casino action and entertainment. Indiana Live Casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year.