Construction is officially underway on a $50 million land-based casino in Downtown Evansville.
State and local officials joined Tropicana in breaking ground for the casino that will replace the riverboat docked on the Ohio River.
During a ceremony inside a large, white, air-conditioned tent, Tropicana CEO Tony Rodio called it a historic day. He noted that Evansville opened Indiana's first riverboat casino more than 20 years ago, and now the city will open the first land-based facility.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke thanked Tropicana for being what he called the "consumate corporate citizen."
He noted that gaming revenue helps the city acquire new police and firetrucks, but Tropicana also helps numerous not-for-profits.
The groundbreaking ended with the demolition of a small red brick building on the site of the future casino off Riverside Drive.
The project has blocked one lane of westbound Riverside. The casino is expected to open by the end of next year.
Hear another version of the story: