HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 3Indiana Bill to Expand Gaming Introduced

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Indiana State Representative Todd Huston (R – Fishers) introduced House Bill 1275 (“HB 1275”) which, if passed, would provide several changes to gaming regulation in Indiana, including expansion efforts.

HB 1275 seeks to make significant changes to the Indiana gaming industry by allowing various forms of gaming expansion. The most significant change to the state’s gaming industry laws is the removal of the requirement for casinos to be located on riverboats. Under the new legislation, the law would make no distinction between riverboats and land-based facilities, allowing for land-based gaming options in the future.

The legislation seeks to make the following key changes to the state’s regulation of gambling:

1. Removes requirements for casinos to be located on riverboats,

2. Removes restrictions on the total number of slot machines that can be operated at a racetrack casino,

3. Removes live racing requirements for racetrack casino licensees, and

4. Repeals the riverboat admissions tax.

These changes are reflected throughout HB 1275, including removing several tax allocations to local governments in connection with the proposed repeal of the riverboat admissions tax and by removing local approval requirements related specifically to riverboat gaming. Importantly, the bill currently has an effective date of July 1, 2024. Thus, the legislation in its current form would not be immediately effective.

The legislation follows an Interim Study Committee on Public Policy recommendation for several changes to the state’s gaming industry aimed at making the industry more competitive with neighboring jurisdictions. The Committee has recommended land-based options for existing operators, reconsideration and study of state admissions taxes and levies on free play, and to allow live dealers at racetrack facilities. It has been reported that State Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), who headed the Interim Study Committee, is also planning on introducing legislation that would incorporate the Committee’s suggested changes.

HB 1275 has been referred to the Committee on Public Policy. For more information on the legislation, including a copy of the full text, please visit the Indiana General Assembly’s website at: https://iga.in.gov/.

 

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