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Terre Haute casino endorsed by Vigo County commissioners

January 18, 2017

The commissioners in western Indiana's Vigo County have unanimously endorsed the idea of bringing a casino to Terre Haute.

Tuesday's 3-0 vote in favor of a resolution embracing the casino proposal cites the new jobs, tourism and additional tax revenue that are expected to follow.

The resolution states that the city about 70 miles west of Indianapolis "would benefit through an injection of jobs and employment benefits" that would come with a casino, The Tribune-Star reported.

That casino would need legislative approval.

State Sen. Jon Ford, R-Terre Haute, has authored legislation that would move unused gambling slots from Rising Star Resort and Casino in Rising Sunin southeastern Indiana, near Cincinnati—to Terre Haute. Ford's bill would allow construction of a new gaming facility in Terre Haute and let the owner of Rising Star relocate up to half of its gambling games to the new facility.

The commissioners considered how casinos have benefited other communities in Indiana, including Evansville.

Commissioner Jon Marvel said times have changed and there is no longer opposition to gambling in the area.

Nonetheless, Terre Haute residents who attended a weekend legislative meeting with Ford and other lawmakers indicated he was wrong. Jeanne Rewa asked attendees to raise their hands if they oppose the proposed casino and a majority of hands were raised.

"The new American casinos are associated with a range of negative health, economic, political, intellectual and social outcomes," Rewa said.

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