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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Indiana lawmakers to study effects of casino competition"

Adding to this post from yesterday, Dan Carden reports today in the NWI Times:

INDIANAPOLIS | State lawmakers this summer will study the ongoing and potential impacts of increased competition for Indiana's gaming industry, including the effects of a potential Chicago casino on riverboats in Hammond, East Chicago, Gary and Michigan City.

The review by the Interim Study Committee on Public Policy will be the first since 2009, when a similar panel urged the Legislature to authorize land-based gaming and proposed other changes to keep Indiana's casinos popular. They face competition with slot machines going into Illinois bars and restaurants and new gambling options in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

However, aside from some minor tax changes, the Republican-controlled General Assembly has done little since then to preserve Indiana gaming and its more than 10,000 Hoosier jobs.

That indifference is starting to hit the state's bottom line. Over the past year, state revenue from riverboat wagering taxes declined more than 20 percent versus 2013 and is down nearly $300 million a year compared to a decade ago.

The recent drop mostly is due to a new land-based Cincinnati casino that's crushed attendance and betting at the three nearby Indiana casinos on the Ohio River.

If Illinois lawmakers finally get on board with plans for a massive downtown Chicago casino and authorize an additional casino in the south suburbs, Northwest Indiana residents and communities, which get a slice of riverboat revenue, would be hit hard — along with the state of Indiana.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 15, 2014 09:43 AM
Posted to Indiana Government