1:11 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Indiana Legislative Committee Approves Casino Bill

A bill aimed at helping Indiana’s casinos compete with new facilities popping up in neighboring states has cleared a state legislative committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 8-4 today to advance the measure.

Among other things, the bill would lower taxes on all casinos, allow riverboat casinos to move their operations inland, and permit live table games at two Indianapolis-area horse tracks.

Panel chairman Sen. Luke Kenley says lawmakers should act to help the industry, which is up against increasing competition.

"At the same time, we are mindful that it is important to not be trying to advocate or encourage or promote gambling that is something that we think people should do or participate in," he said.

Some opponents complain that tax changes in the bill could cost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue, but the gaming industry argues the new rules would allow casinos to boost business and generate more money for the state.