Casinos push for Indiana gaming expansion
Governor Mike Pence has already said he is opposed to the expansion of gaming in the state. Wednesday, casinos got the chance to present their side.
The governor has drawn a line in the sand, but the casino industry says it needs some changes to stay competitive.
Last week Pence asked lawmakers not to approve an expansion of gambling amid pressure from new casinos in bordering states. The governor has concerns about the industry's effort to bring the state's riverboat casinos on land, add live table games at the two horse racing tracks and approve portable gambling devices.
The state's two "racinos" want to add live gaming tables and the riverboats want to move on land.
"I've heard increasing revenues is an expansion of revenues. What happens if you have declining revenues and you are just bringing them back to where they used to be? Is that an expansion? The industry disappears and then we have no revenue and then we start the industry. Is that an expansion or is that trying to get things back to the way they have been and aid an industry that is very important to the state of Indiana?" asked Jim Brown with Centaur.
"Another provision that would help us with the competition is moving inland. It would allow us to compete better without costing the state a dime. The customer experience would dramatically increase and allow us to better compete with the neighboring Ohio land-based facilities. While some of us have said this is an expansion of gaming, in all actuality by moving from boat to land we will actually decrease the number of units," said Steven Jimenez, Rising Star Casino.
The bill setting up a motorsports investment district at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway also received a hearing in the House this morning and mass transportation is on the docket for this afternoon.