Indiana gaming chief: Land-based gambling likely

Published: .
Updated: .

The head of the Indiana Gaming Commission says it's becoming increasingly likely that Indiana will make the shift to land-based gambling.

Gaming Commission Executive Director Ernest Yelton says declining casino revenues and other factors are helping drive the push for land-based casinos. The Times of Munster reports Yelton told the Gary Chamber of Commerce on Monday that land-based gambling is "gaining more and more momentum."

Yelton calls State Sen. Earline Rogers of Gary the "biggest champion" of the land-based push that state lawmakers would have to approve.

Successive mayoral administrations in Gary have lobbied lawmakers to move at least one of the city's two riverboat casino licenses inland to a site along the heavily traveled Borman Expressway.

Governor Mike Pence has already said he is opposed to the expansion of gaming in the state. A few weeks ago, casino operators made their case to expand gaming options in Indiana in front of the state legislature.

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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)