Casinos Looking to Even The Odds

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An interim study committee is considering multiple proposals designed to reinvigorate the state's gaming industry. Lawmakers held discussions Wednesday at the Statehouse involving proposals such as allowing live dealers at racinos, bringing riverboat gaming on-shore and altering admission tax collections. The industry employs some 13,000 workers in Indiana and faces increased competition from gaming venues in Ohio and Michigan, as well as expanded video gaming in Illinois.

Governor Mike Pence has been clear about not expanding gambling in the state and Indiana Gaming Insight Publisher Ed Feigenbaum says the industry will try to work with legislators "around the margins" of expansion.

In the past few years, casinos have experienced significant declines in revenue. For example, the most recent report from the Indiana Gaming Commission shows adjusted gross revenue last month was $159 million, compared to $176 million during the same period a year earlier.

Feigenbaum says year-to-date statewide revenues are off by tens of millions of dollars.

He believes the current crop of lawmakers are "more committed" to potential regulatory changes than in previous years.

Source: Inside INdiana Business