In Indiana, proposed legislation which could enable local casino operator, Spectacle Entertainment, to relocate one of its riverboat gaming licenses to some land-based site from the city of Terre Haute has reportedly passed its first hurdle after being accepted by the Indiana State Senate’s Public Policy Committee.
Based on a Thursday report by The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper, Senate Bill 552 was endorsed after a three-hour public hearing and is currently due to be sent to the Indiana State Senate’s Appropriations Committee where its possible effect on the state’s finances will be closely examined. If it makes it through this body, the proposed step is to purportedly be put to a vote before the full Republican-controlled Indiana State Senate.
Land-based Gary casino:
If subsequently passed by the houses of the Indiana Legislature, the proposed legislation would also allow Spectacle Entertainment to transfer another riverboat casino license to a brand new $300 million land-based gambling facility to be located in the city of Gary. The firm explained that this fresh venue would incorporate a casino alongside a 200-room hotel and make 400 additional tasks while generating approximately $75 million in new revenues every year.
The Times of Northwest Indiana detailed that Spectacle Accounts for the floating Majestic Star Casino Hotel and Majestic Star Casino Hotel II at Gary’s Buffington Harbor but has been lobbying for the right to maneuver both facilities to inland sites.
Indiana State Senator Ron Alting, that leads the Indiana State Senate’s Public Policy Committee, told the newspaper that Senate Bill 552 is ‘one of the biggest gaming bills maybe from the history of Indiana with the exception of the very first one which brought gambling to Indiana’ since the step, as written, would furthermore legalize sportsbetting, remove casino ownership caps and change some gambling tax distributions.
Alting to The Times of Northwest Indiana…
“I feel that Senate Bill 552 is a thoughtful, practical and well-balanced approach to progress Indiana’s gambling market.
Howeverthe legislation is expected to face stern resistance from officials from the neighboring communities of Hammond and East Chicago, which host the floating Horseshoe Hammond and Ameristar East Chicago venues respectively. They have contended that enabling Spectacle to relocate its facilities would harm their own casinos and lead to a reduction in the tax revenues they receive from gambling.
In an effort to placate such antagonism, the Indiana State Senate’s Public Policy Committee allegedly inserted an amendment into Senate Bill 552 that could guarantee Hammond’s gambling tax revenues. In addition, the host of the modification, Indiana State Senator, Mark Messmer, promised to provide East Chicago using an identical ‘hold harmless’ protection.
‘Hold harmless’ assurances:
But Hammond Mayor, Thomas McDermott (pictured), was allegedly unimpressed with the insertion and declared that such moves wouldn’t assist Horseshoe Hammond or Ameristar East Chicago when the companies were to be hurt with a new land-based Gary casino.
McDermott to The Times of Northwest Indiana…
“For the casinos , they’re not held harmless. If they lose due to the brand new Gary casino, then the only recourse they have is to put people off.