Racinos ask permission to use mobile devices for gambling

January 26, 2013

Centaur Holdings LLC would like to see old-fashioned live table games at central Indiana racinos, but the Indianapolis-based firm is also moving ahead with new mobile technology.

Centaur needs a change in state law to add live games at Hoosier Park in Anderson and Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, the former competitor that Centaur plans to buy out of bankruptcy.

otr-winners-circle-012813-1col.jpg Off-track-betting parlors, like Winners Circle shown here, already offer mobile gambling. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Introducing mobile gambling devices on the casino floor, however, requires only the approval of the Indiana Gaming Commission. The mobile devices, typically iPads, are issued by the casino, and they’re supposed to shut down as soon as a patron leaves the boundaries of the gambling floor.

“There’s a belief out there the younger generation is far more accustomed to doing games on an iPad than sitting in front of a slot machine or sitting at a table,” Indiana Gaming Commissioner Ernest Yelton said. “I do look for it to be the new wave of gaming throughout the country.”

The gambling commission hasn’t received any formal requests from Indiana casinos, Yelton said.

Centaur General Counsel John Keeler said the firm is working on a plan for presentation soon to the gambling commission. Centaur already offers mobile gambling inside its off-track-betting parlors.

The OTBs have a secure wireless intranet, which allows patrons to bet on races without leaving their tables. The bets are placed using tablets provided by the OTB, or on their own smartphones, Keeler said.

Centaur is working on a similar system for Hoosier Park, Keeler said.•


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