HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 12Indiana Senate Passes Gaming Reform Bill

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Indiana Senate passed House Bill 1540 (“HB 1540”) by a vote of 36-13 which, if signed into law, would make several changes to the state’s gaming laws. The legislation will now be moved to a conference committee to resolve conflicting amendments to the bill since it was passed by the Indiana House on February 25, 2015.

The Senate version of HB 1540 passed on Thursday amends the House version of the bill by delaying the implementation of table games at licensed horse tracks in the state. Under the Senate version, track operators will be allowed to submit plans for the operation of live table games beginning in 2021. Governor Mike Pence has been reported as opposing allowing tracks to operate live table games, as he views this as an expansion of gambling activity in the state, but it is unclear whether the delayed implementation would be an acceptable alternative to the Governor.

HB 1540, introduced on January 20, 2015, follows the Indiana Legislature Interim Study Committee on Public Policy’s discussion and recommendations for reforming the state’s gaming policies. The legislation would allow land-based options for existing operators and related development incentives, extends tax deductions for promotional activities, and calls for further study of the state’s casino admission’s tax and other fiscal issues. The bill is authored by Rep. Thomas Dermody (R-LaPorte), who was also the chairman of the interim study committee. HB 1540 has been designed to make key changes to the state’s gaming laws so that Indiana facilities can better compete with neighboring jurisdictions, many of which have significantly expanded gaming activities since Indiana first authorized riverboat gaming in 1993.

The House and Senate have until April 29, 2015 to reconcile the differences in each version of the bill passed by the respective chambers.

 

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