(AP) — A panel of Indiana House lawmakers stripped most provisions of a
gambling bill Wednesday, setting up a potential showdown with senators who
approved a gambling expansion last month.
casinos are pressing to bring their riverboat operations on shore and the
owner of Indiana's two racetracks with slots wants approval to install
table games as new casinos in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio look ready to
siphon away business.
But the House
Public Policy Committee voted 10-3 to advance a bill that does away with
both provisions and restores state aid for counties that host casinos,
which the Senate cut in the gambling bill.
chief operating officer for the Centaur Holdings, which owns both the
Shelbyville and Anderson tracks, argued that adding table games would
amount to a formality because both tracks already have games like poker
and roulette operated by machines.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland, said table games never
were what the Legislature intended when it approved slots for the
"Why did you
not install table games when you first put the casino in?" Davis pressed.
gambling bill keeps in place a handful of small tax changes sought by the
gambling industry, but the largest items were eliminated.
industry has spent more than $19 million lobbying for gambling expansions
and lower taxes with mixed success since 2000. In that time, riverboats
won approval to dock permanently, the tracks won approval of 4,000 slots
and the owners of the French Lick Resort and Casino won an exception to
the state's water-based casino rule in order to build their casino.