Senate Bill 552 filed by Senators Mark Messmer and Jon Ford cleared one of the hurdles into becoming law on Wednesday. The Indiana gambling bill will legalize sports betting in the state. In addition, it will allow two Gary casinos to relocate. Also, the bill will allow horse-track casinos to start offering live table games this year.
On Wednesday, the Senate Public Policy Committee approved several amendments. For instance, an amendment will give East Chicago and Hammond extra revenue to offset losses. In addition, casino owners need to pay the city of Evansville $6 million if they relocate to Vigo County.
Senator Messmer told pay per head bookie that the bill is a good opportunity to update state gambling laws. In fact, it will allow two Majestic Star Casinos to relocate. One will relocate within the city of Gary, and the second one will head to Terre Haute in Vigo County.
Although Spectacle Entertainment is known as the new owner of the casinos, the acquisition process is still ongoing. Since the announcement of the acquisition, Spectacle stated its desire to relocate the casinos.
While the bill will allow the casinos to relocate, Spectacle still needs to compete for the Vigo County location. Other casino operators can bid to open a casino with their unused gambling positions, according to gambling news archives.
Full House Resorts wants to have a casino in Vigo County. In 2017, Senator Ford filed a bill to allow the company to take its unused position to the county. However, the bill didn’t advance in the legislature. The legislature wants more casino and pay per head reviews first.
The committee also amended the bill to include some provisions found in a separate bill Ford filed. The amended bill will allow online sports betting once a person registered at a brick-and-mortar casino or off-track betting facility.