There have been some big steps forward towards Indian casino changes this week, as an overhaul of the regulations in the state has cleared the state Senate, with different approaches to taxes and to the locations of casinos now being allowed. The growing competition in nearby states is the reason for the change, and advocators of the revamp have said that their casinos need help and protection against those big rivals.
One of the main things that the bill will do is to allow the ten riverboat casinos in Indian to bring their table and slot machine games inland to property near to their current locations, and to also permit live table games to be played at the two current racinos (or horse racing track casinos) which currently hold licenses. The state tax on casinos will also be cut by millions of dollars, something which has not impressed opponents of the bill but has certainly put a spring in the step of casino owners in the state.
Senators voted 32 to 18 in favour of the bill on Monday night, and it will now go to the House, where some leaders have expressed caution towards making major changes to the casino laws. Some senators who have casinos in their counties also expressed that they did not like the idea of reducing casino tax, since they argued that their communities bear extra expenses from hosting the casinos which must be paid for. Only time will tell if the House do pass the bill, but things are certainly looking more likely now than they were before the Senate gave their views – as it was not clear that they would vote in favour, but this looks like a decisive reaction in favour of the idea which may well sway the opinions of some of those in the House. Campaigners are going into overdrive to try and get their views on these issues heard now that it has come down to this final stage, so you can expect to see a lot of media attention on the issue until that decision is made.