01/22/2013 1:57PM

Indiana senate expected to vote on expanded gambling at racetracks

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A bill that would allow Indiana’s racetracks to add casino-style games to their slot-machine operations is expected to be called for a vote in a state senate committee on Wednesday.

The provision allowing for expanded gambling at the casinos at Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park is part of a larger gambling bill that would also allow the state’s 11 “riverboat” casinos to build facilities on land. Supporters of the bill have cited increased competition from casinos and slots parlors in Ohio for the measures.

Taxes on casino gambling currently provide approximately 5 percent of the budget in Indiana, according to the Indianapolis Star, along with hundreds of millions of dollars of support annually to local municipalities. Receipts from gambling declined last year, however, by 4.2 percent, the Star said.

Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park both built casinos in the past three years after the legislature authorized slot machines at the tracks. A decade earlier, the state had legalized riverboat casinos, but those casinos are currently moored at 11 locations, almost all on the state’s borders with Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.

The bill would allow riverboat casino owners to move the casinos to dry land as long as the land is already owned by the company.

Hoosier Park is owned by Centaur Gaming, which last year reached a deal to buy Indiana Downs. The deal is near to being finalized.

Rocky Huffine More than 1 year ago
Now you hear is let’s expand gambling that’s easy tax revenue. That does not create good jobs. Gaming erodes society. People who are desperate fall into hitting it big one time. Look at the billboards fun, fun, fun. Gambling only takes it does not give to society. Yeah better roads in their area to get people to come in and loose there hard earned money and a false sense of hitting it big. Remember the G.E. commercials. The group of people at the Cat scan, helping to save lives, the hill by the tunnel watching the locomotives pulling train cars, workers watching the jet taking off. That makes people know they are bettering society. Manufacturing creates job and produces a product that people can be proud of, and a sense of doing something good. Manufacturing then makes new innovations on their product to further the good for society. Do Casinos and other gamming institutions do that, I don’t think so. No they just want us to gamble our disposable income, on a pipe dream. Without gamming people would possibly buy a refrigerator, stove or other tangible item. If not that go out to eat or even take a vacation. That is putting money back into communities. But our leaders are showing us how little they really care. They want the easy way out, and are destroying our Country in the process. We need real jobs!
Erv Pofelski More than 1 year ago
As Illinois tracks slowly sink , Ind. must be smarter than Ill. legislatures
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
Erv, It is a pitty what has taken place at Arlington park. Such low level racing and such a wonderful facility. Great for the hores player, but offering bad racing product now.