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Bills in General Assembly would ease costs for casinos

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The Indiana General Assembly is taking its first steps toward restructuring Hoosier gambling law. State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, announced she will introduce a bill in the 2010 session to address the findings of the Legislature’s Interim Gaming Study Committee, which investigated the threat of increased casino competition from border states and the differences between riverboat and racino taxes. State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, plans to file a companion bill in the Indiana House.

Rogers’ proposal would allow any existing riverboat casino to move to land and end the requirement that they maintain marine navigation systems. Riverboats that convert to land-based casinos would be required to stay in the same city, and would be charged a relocation fee.

The bill would also allow one of Gary’s riverboats to move inland and the license for its second to be returned to the Indiana Gaming Commission.

State Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, added a provision to Rogers’ bill that would assist Indiana’s two racinos by no longer requiring them to pay wagering tax on money set aside to bolster the state’s horse racing industry. Indianapolis-based Centaur Inc., owner of Anderson’s Hoosier Park racino, has been struggling with its tax burden. In late October, Centaur defaulted on a $13.4 million interest payment on its more than $400 million in outstanding debt, which the company is attempting to restructure.

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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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