Pence: I'm Against Gambling Expansion (But What Does 'Expansion' Mean, Anyway?)

Feb 26, 2015

The governor has been very vague about his opposition, leaving any gambling legislation in limbo if it's passed.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he’s opposed to expansion of gaming in Indiana but won’t tell the public how he defines expansion.

This year's gaming bill allows riverboats to move inland on existing property, gives casinos a tax credit for new construction, and allows racetrack casinos to switch out some of their electronic games with tables that have live dealers. 

Though a House committee included extensive tax changes to the bill, those changes were taken out before the measure left the House this week -- and that’s something Governor Pence takes credit for.

“I have expressed reservations along the way about aspects of the House bill," Pence says.  "I’m confident that our reservations contributed to this being a much more modest bill that it would have been otherwise.”

But legislative leaders agree the live dealers are the most contentious issue in the bill.  And while Pence says he’s made it clear to lawmakers how he feels, he won’t give specifics publicly.

“I want to respect the legislative process and we’ll see where it goes.  If it gets to my desk, you’ll know my opinion for sure.”

The gaming bill is now in the Senate’s hands.