With legal sports gambling having already spread to other states, the ban became impractical.
Some observers say the upcoming changes are the most significant in the industry since the Legislature authorized riverboat casinos in 1993.
The updated legislation also would decrease the fee that the owner of the two casinos in Gary would have to pay in order to move a casino from Lake Michigan to a more convenient interstate location.
Lawmakers could wrap up the session as early as Wednesday but negotiations on the new two-year state budget and other issues could delay completion of its business until as late as April 29.
The leader of the Indiana House said he plans to skip votes on a major gambling-related bill after a casino investor arranged a local government contract for his law firm.
A top Indiana budget writer doesn't expect much of a state tax revenue boost if legislators approve proposals to legalize sports betting and allow new casinos in Gary and Terre Haute.
The owner of two casinos now located on Lake Michigan in Gary would still be allowed to move one of them to a more convenient interstate location under changes to a gambling bill lawmakers made Tuesday—but only if the company gave its other license back to the state.
For a variety of reasons, most of the states that moved quickly to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court cleared the way are still waiting for the expected payoff.
An Indiana casino CEO treated Gov. Eric Holcomb to two private jet flights last year and made big contributions to Holcomb’s largest 2016 campaign donor, all while he was pushing for changes to state law that would benefit his business, according to a newspaper report.
State lawmakers significantly amended a major gambling bill on Wednesday, removing language that would have allowed mobile sports betting and adding a huge relocation fee for the owner of the Gary’s casinos.
The House Public Policy Committee heard roughly five hours of testimony on Senate Bill 552—legislation that touches nearly every aspect of gambling in Indiana—during a hearing on Wednesday.
The Indianapolis-based NCAA is preparing for its first basketball championships since the Supreme Court allowed legal sports betting to expand. Its board of governors will be considering new gambling policies at its next several meetings.
The legislation would legalize sports wagering, let horse-track casinos add table games this year as opposed to waiting until 2021 and allow two Gary casinos to move.
Spectacle Entertainment—a company founded by some of the same investors that operated Centaur before it was purchased by Caesars Entertainment—is in the process of buying Gary-based Majestic Star Casino I and Majestic Star Casino. It has said it wants to move one of the casinos to the Interstate 80/94 corridor and the other to Terre Haute.
Caesars owns four of Indiana’s highest-revenue casinos and any sale would need approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission and Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
One of Gary’s two casino licenses could be allowed to operate at any location in Indiana under new legislation. A previous bill limited the casino move to Vigo County.
Senate Bill 552, authored by Jasper Republican Mark Messmer and Terre Haute Republican Jon Ford, would allow the casinos in Gary to relocate, accelerate when horse-track casinos could begin offering live table games and legalize sports gambling.
The bill, filed by Republican Sens. Mark Messmer and Jon Ford, covers a wide range of gambling issues expected to be debated this year.
Several states—but not Indiana—moved to authorize online gambling after an Obama administration decision appeared to allow it. Now, the Justice Department is reversing that opinion.