House Approves Gaming Bill, But Senate Uncertainty Awaits
Legislation aimed at helping Indiana’s struggling gaming industry easily cleared the House Wednesday. But its path to final approval may be more difficult.
The gaming bill would allow riverboats to move on land, give casinos a ten percent tax credit for new construction, and allow racetrack casinos to replace some of their electronic table games with table games that have live dealers.
The bill’s outcome became less certain this week when Governor Mike Pence objected to the live dealers as an unwanted expansion of gaming.
Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), the bill’s author, says adding live dealers is a common sense move.
“And keeping in mind, with many of your concerns and with the leadership in our state, that we do not have expansion,” Dermody says.
With the bill now heading to the Senate, GOP leader David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says live dealers is clearly the bill’s biggest issue. And he says the difficulty is that any change to the measure creates ripple effects throughout the industry.
“It’s Whack-a-mole," Long says. "You hit one thing and try to solve that problem, another one pops up.”
The House approved the bill 75-18.