The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved two bills that could impact Gary. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the bills allow for a land-based casino in Gary and address the redevelopment of the lakefront at Buffington Harbor.

Senate Bill 552 authorizes the two Majestic Star Casinos to merge into one that will move inland, according to the publication. It also allows the second casino license to be moved to Vigo County, where it will likely be used to open a new casino in Terre Haute.

In November, Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment announced plans to acquire Majestic Star parent Majestic Holdco LLC. Spectacle's vice chairman is Greg Gibson, a noted businessman from Terre Haute.

SB 552 also allows sports betting at casinos.

Senate Bill 66 focuses on what will happen to the Buffington Harbor lakefront, where the Majestic Star casinos are currently located, after they move inland. The bill would create a new Gary Indiana Transmodal Compact, which would handle the redevelopment.

The committee made changes to the compact's board, which would now include nine voting members: four from the city and five from the state, with two nonvoting members representing the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and the World Trade Center Indianapolis.

The bills now head to the full Senate for consideration next week. You can read more from The Times of Northwest Indiana by clicking here.