Senate Passes Casino, CIB Bills

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The Indiana Senate has passed two bills that have garnered a lot of attention throughout the state. One of the bills would allow Majestic Star Casino to combine its two riverboat casinos into one land-based casino in Gary and move it second casino license to Terre Haute. The other would allow the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board's plan to expand the Indiana Convention Center and add two new downtown hotels to move forward.

In addition to the impact on the Gary casinos, Senate Bill 552 would also legalize sports betting at all casinos, and allow live dealers two years ahead of schedule at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, according to our partners at WIBC. The bill now heads to the Indiana House, which has until April 9 to get the bill through committee.

The Senate passed SB 7, which approves funding for the convention center expansion, but also allows for renovations at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indy and extends the Indiana Pacers' lease at the arena. Additionally, the bill includes funding for a new multipurpose soccer stadium that could be the home of a Major League Soccer team. 

The Indy Eleven, which is part of the United Soccer League, has been rallying for a new stadium for years, most recently as part of its $550 million Eleven Park development. However, the stadium approved as part of SB 7 would specifically be used for an MLS franchise. Eleven Park developers released a statement following the bill's passage Tuesday:

Eleven Park commends the Indiana State Senate for passing Senate Bill 7 on third reading. This is the latest step in the legislative process and the bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

We will continue to work with legislators and all stakeholders to make the Eleven Park vision a reality and to secure the future of the world’s most popular sport in Indiana – with no new taxes and no appropriations from city or state governments.

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