Indiana is about to undergo some legal overhaul that could see sports betting legalized and new casino properties underway by 2020.
Indiana’s Existing Casinos Are Facing Trouble
Indiana presently has 13 casino operators which have been struggling to overcome solid competition from tribal gaming operators and neighbouring states. Things aren’t going to get much better should the state just rely on customers to flock back to these properties.
Now, a new gambling law wants to reshuffle the existing operations, see sports betting passed and hopefully breathe life into the entire industry. It’s not a long shot, despite the challenges.
Senate Public Policy Committee Chairman Ron Alting of Lafayette has described the bill as the biggest legislative overhaul the state has had since 1993. In the state’s recent history, casinos managed to rake in around $680 million back in 2010 with the revenue dropping to $442 million last year.
In fairness, neighbouring states are not so much advanced when it comes to scaling their own gambling operations. Michigan and Kentucky are now in the process of legalizing their offers, with Michigan well ahead. In terms of active properties, though, it’s unlikely Indiana is losing so much.
The Big Shuffle of Indiana’s Casino Landscape
The plans aren’t so expansive, but they do foresee important changes. Spectacle Entertainment would be allowed to buy two Majestic Star Casino boats in Gary and one of these properties will be brought inland.
The company intends to invest $300 million and prepare a new 300-room hotel located next to Interstate 80-94 in Gary, which will lead to 400 jobs, not counting construction work needed.
Spectacle is also eyeing a $100 million investment in Terre Haute where the project will provide another 400 workers with permanent jobs, a welcome move by the state.
Despite the somewhat dry spell, brands have been seeking to relocate in a bid to incentivize locals into hitting the casino floors. Full House Resorts has been seeking a license to expand across Indiana.
Horse Tracks Casinos to Benefit Immensely
The existing horse tracks owned by Caesars Entertainment will also manage to expand on their offer, adding table games and other casino products which will complement the existing facilities accepting wagers on horse races.
Now, the Indiana Gaming Commission will have to move ahead and decide whether the proposed bill is acceptable.
The proposed plan by State Senator Jon Ford envisages 6.75% tax on revenues, much like in Nevada and a license per facility will cost operators $75,000. Things are moving along in Indonesia and despite the somewhat slacked pace, they seem to be going in the right direction.
So far, Sen. Ford’s bill is going according to plan with operations scheduled for January 1, 2019. If everything goes according to plan, Indiana is preparing for business as usual.