HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 20Issue 31Indiana Casino Reform Update - Legislative Committee Supports Land-Based Options

On Thursday, October 30, 2014, the Interim Study Committee on Public Policy (“Committee”) of the Indiana Legislature held its third hearing in a series of discussions to review potential changes to the state’s gaming laws and policies. The Committee unanimously agreed that land-based options for existing gaming licensees, currently only permitted to operate riverboat facilities, should be made available to better compete with similar options in competing jurisdictions.

As part of the hearing, the Committee released its draft final report that recommends significant legal, regulatory, and policy changes for the state’s gambling industry. Most significantly, the Committee recommends that the “General Assembly adopt legislation allowing the current riverboat licensees to move the casino to a land-based facility.” As part of this legislation, the Committee has proposed that existing licensees be permitted to build permanent structures on its real estate owned by the licensee and that the total number of gaming positions be limited to those amounts as of July 1, 2014. In addition, changes in legislation regarding the move to land-based facilities should include capital investment incentives.

The Committee also recommended that the legislature extend the existing $5 million annual cap on free-play deductions for two more years and that further analysis be conducted on how the deductions affect competition with other jurisdictions. Regarding casino admissions taxes, which provide revenue to local units of government but which operators have noted are unpredictable and difficult to assess, the draft final report states that the legislature should consider repeal of the tax and to replace it with another revenue source. This recommendation is in line with what was proposed by operator representatives during the previous two hearings.

For horse tracks that currently offer electronic table games, the Committee has recommended that legislation be amended or introduced to allow for live table games, capped at the number of electronic versions in place as of July 1, 2014. After two years of operation, the Committee has suggested that the tracks be able to petition to increase the number of live games.

For more information on the Committee and its findings, including the draft final report, please visit the Committee’s website at: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/committees/i_public_policy_interim_study_committee_on

 

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