The casino operators in Northwest Indiana are preparing for significant changes as Senate Bill 552 was finalized by Gov. Eric Holcomb May 8. It will now face a vote from the House of Representatives.
Covered changes are: relocation of one Gary casino, the allowance of sports betting across multiple platforms, and all racinos can have table games with live, professional dealers starting in 2020, instead of 2021.
The amount of casinos allowed in state from one company is not restricted anymore. With this new bill, there will be a shift in the wagering tax structure to now benefit casinos.
If the bill is passed by the House, it will be one of the largest expansions in the history of gambling in Indiana. Sen. Mark Messmer, the sponsor of the bill, considers this an important moment for casino reform in Indiana.
“It will help our existing casino operators be more competitive and will maximize our ability as a state to benefit from increased gaming revenues to our general fund, without increasing the number of licenses and staying within the caps that were established in 2013 for the number of positions at each facility.”
Indiana Casino profits have recently suffered due to high win rates, but are looking forward to the added prospects of sports gambling and the opportunity for promotional events with the nearby Chicago sports market.
Spectacle obtained Majestic Star and shortly announced a timeline to produce an inland Gary casino and to push for legalization of all sports gambling. The inland Gary complex is projected to cost $300 million and generate 400 jobs. A complete boutique hotel will be built to accompany it.
The execution of this bill is favored by casino operators, who hope it can ignite economic growth in Northern Indiana for other businesses, as well. Restaurants inside the betting centers and casino bus charters like UNited Coachline will have the chance for a large customer base and location expansions.
“It’s no secret that Gary has faced its challenges like many Rust Belt cities across the United States,” Sen. Melton said. “But I truly believe that we’re reaching a turning point.”
This turning point is sparked by the new no-cap rule on casinos in Indiana, which Sen. Melton says will bring in hundreds of jobs. The early establishment of the inland Gary casino will help the area get ahead of the growing gambling market in Indiana.