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Indiana casino executive fighting state over ouster order

Hard Rock International has proposed a casino in Gary, Indiana. (Image Provided/Spectacle Entertainment)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A longtime heavyweight in Indiana’s gambling industry is fighting attempts by state regulators aimed at forcing him to give up ownership in a Lake Michigan casino and a $300 million new casino project in Gary.

A lawsuit filed by former Spectacle Entertainment CEO Rod Ratcliff in Lake County argues the Indiana Gaming Commission wrongly acted against him without allowing a fair hearing on allegations that he had violated state orders by continuing to exert control over the company.

The commission’s action last month against Ratcliff followed the federal indictment of a business partner on allegations of making illegal campaign contributions.

Ratcliff resigned from Spectacle in June.