A gaming bill to allow existing casinos to shift venues, provide the horse track sites with permission to offer table games and possibly sports wagering has been passed in the Indiana Senate.
The Senate In Indiana voted 38-11 in favor of the bill drafted by senators Mark Messmer and Jon Ford. For the bill to become a law it remains to be passed by the house.
If the bill is passed and comes into effect the two Majestic Star, I and Majestic Star II riverboat casino properties could move their facilities on land. One such provision is secured in the existing bill and to shift other casinos on a land-based site will be through a bidding process.
Currently, in Indiana, a company cannot have more than two licenses, but that will also be lifted with the new bill passed in the house.
Mark Messmer, who has authored a rather significant bill in Indiana’s gambling history said that it was essential to include the competitive bidding process as that would provide the state with best proposals and would consequently give better results.
The bidding process was earlier removed from the bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee. However, it was the Senate that again made it a part of the bill.
Indiana state officials have welcomed the bill, and their support is based on the fact that with the provisions in the new bill there will be increased economic activity in the state.
Despite popular support, the bill also has faced opposition in the house. Speaker, Brian Bosma, has been vocal about his concerns. According to Bosma, the new bill is nothing but a move to expand gambling activities in the state.
Taking on dig on Bosma’s contrary arguments, Senator Eddie Melton said, “I don’t see this as an expansion of gaming. I see this as an opportunity to leverage our existing assets.”
The underlying idea behind bringing in this new bill is to also stop gaming and gambling revenues from draining out of the state. According to the reports presented in the Senate, 13 Casinos in Indiana have witnessed shrink revenues as facilities out of the state have developed both in terms of infrastructure and amenities.