HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 17Indiana Land-Based Casino Bill Becomes Law, Advanced Deposit Wagering Bill Vetoed

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Indiana Governor Mike Pence allowed legislation to pass into law without his signature that will permit land-based options for existing riverboat licensees, as well as legislation that changes the state’s horse racing laws. In addition, Governor Pence vetoed legislation that would have allowed horse tracks in the state to accept advanced deposit wagering on races.

House Bill 1540 (“HB 1540”) amends the state’s casino laws to allow existing riverboat licensees the option to move their facilities into land-based structures. The amendments increase the available tax deduction for free play from $5 million to $7 million annually, and allows for horse tracks to apply for authorization to allow live table game dealers at tracks beginning in March 2021. The amendments also establish a new section in the state’s gaming laws that give the state legislature greater oversight over Native American gaming compact negotiations.

The law is a product of the legislature’s Interim Study Committee on Public Policy, which held hearings last fall regarding how best to allow the state’s gaming industry to better compete with neighboring jurisdictions.

Another bill, Senate Bill 252, was also allowed to pass into law without signature. This legislation provides additional per diem funds for Horse Racing Commission members, allows for breed development funds to be used to promote the industry, and codifies existing rules related to race dates.

Governor Pence, however, vetoed House Bill 1270 which would have authorized horse tracks to offer advanced deposit wagering. In a press release on the matter, Governor Pence stated that “[t]his legislation is contrary to my long-time position against online gaming. Advance Deposit Wagering, not currently permitted in Indiana, would also violate my position on expanding gaming here in Indiana.” HB 1540 and Senate Bill 252, however, were characterized by the Governor as merely allowing the state’s existing gaming industry to be more competitive and, therefore, were not considered an expansion of gaming.

For more information on HB 1540, please see The Michigan Gaming Newsletter’sprevious coverage, here: http://www.michigangaming.com/publications/newsletter-archive/127-newsletters/volume-21/issue-15/496-indiana-legislature-passes-casino-law


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