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Indiana Senate bill would relocate casinos inland

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February 1, 2010

A proposal to relocate casinos from Lake Michigan and the Ohio River to inland locations has been drafted by State Senator Ronnie Alting, R-Lafayette, and debated in committee. The purpose of Bill 405 is to make Indiana casinos more competitive than other casinos in surrounding states.

However, after debate the committee removed the wording to legalize land-based casinos. Sen. Alting said the Casino Association of Indiana did not support the wording, and their lack of support prompted the Senate to remove it from the bill.

Casino Assocation President Mike Smith said a majority of people in the association objected to the wording in the bill. He said boat casinos like the Horseshoe Casino, which recently invested $5 million in their casino, would lose more money from the bill rather than gain money.

However, the debate may not be over. There is a chance the House 0f Representatives could restore the provision to the bill.

State Senator Earline Rogers, D-Gary, supports putting the wording back into the bill. He believes that Gary would benefit by moving casinos inland from the water.

Peg McLeish, press secretary for the Senate Democrats, also agrees. She said the bill would help the economy of the greater Gary area.

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