Summary: A bill involving a casino license and sports betting has moved forward in Indiana.
The Senate Public Policy Committee recently heard testimony supporting a bill involving a casino license and sports betting, choosing to push the bill forward. The bill will allow for Gary’s Lake Michigan casino license to move inland and provides a license to Terre Haute. Also in the mix is sports betting. If passed into law, the bill would allow wagering on professional and college sports.
The bill has a fiscal impact, so it will now be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Gary sent several officials to the hearing to be able to push for support. The mayor of the city, Karen Freeman-Wilson, was on hand along with city council members, senators and more. The officials wanted to show that moving the casino inland would be a huge opportunity for the city.
The mayor has wanted to see the two riverboat casinos move inland so that the Buffington Harbor will be open for development. Now that the casino licensing has been moved, the city will have a blank area in which to use for economic development. The city will be able to provide jobs as well as increase the amount of tax revenues brought to the city.
Senate Bill 552 would provide the city of Gary with a large increase in gaming revenues, money that is much needed. The casinos already 800 jobs will be increased by 400 with construction jobs also available as the inland building is constructed.
The region of Gary has been undergoing a transformation as of late in order to change the perception of the region as well as the reality for the community. According to Mayor Freeman-Wilson, the city is trying to return to a time when they were prosperous. Already, around $1.7 billion has been invested over a seven year time frame in the region.
More than 1,300 vacant buildings or abandoned structures have been demolished or deconstructed to focus on reducing crime in the region and see overall community success.
Sports Betting Component
SB 552 also covers sports betting, an industry that Indiana can also benefit from. States across the US have continued to legalize sports betting after the option became available last May. In Indiana, the bill would allow casinos in the state to offer sports betting.
The measure places rules for the casinos to provide the new wagering option. The Indiana Gaming Commission is also given the ability to create additional regulations. Sports betting is supported by lawmakers as well as professional sports teams in the state including the Colts and IndyCar.
It seems the bill has the full potential to pass into law. Already close to a dozen states have legalized sports betting in some form or fashion. If Indiana is able to pass the legislation, they would be yet another state that gets in on the newest industry in the nation.
Now, we just wait and see what happens to the measure in the Senate Committee. Hopefully, the bill will continue to move forward and we will see Indiana become the next to offer sports betting along with the quality casino changes to the region.