Gaming bill won’t include land-based casinos
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS — The bill designed to provide benefits to the gaming industry in Indiana will not include casino boats moving on land or live table games at racing casinos. The bill passed the House 79-19 and the Senate 39-11.
Senate Republican leader David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said whatever is worked out on the bill, it won’t have those provisions.
“Anything that is going to pass, if it does, will not have live table games and not have footprints in it,” Long said.
The most recent version of the bill focuses on tax benefits to the casinos, changing riverboat casino taxes from $3 per person admission to a 3.45 percent tax. It would also provide for tax breaks on free-play promotions and credits for capital improvements.
Each casino will receive up to $5 million in tax free free-play promotions from 2014 through 2016, costing the state between $17 million and $18 million in revenues. The gaming bill will also study the effect of the free-play promotion on revenues.
If gross revenues fall below $75 million, the first $25 million will be taxed at a lower 5%, while the remaining will stay at the standard 15%.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t do more for them,” Boots said, “I thought the original bill would provide for the entire industry, and compete with our neighbors. But that’s kind of what we do here, we compromise all the time.”
Boots added that providing free play will help the industry, and was one of the priorities for the bill. He also hopes that allowing boats to move onto their footprint, as well as live table games, can be a serious discussion in the future.