Many Indiana legislators are willing to stand by and watch as the state experiences a huge casino revenue decline
By Josh Altic
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: Although the $680 million seen in the 2010 budget from casinos alone is rapidly decreasing, many law makers agree it is best to resist measures to keep the casino business alive and strong in Indiana.
Casino advocates point to the 15,000 jobs generated by the casino industry and to the massive state casino revenue and argue that keeping the casino industry strong is in the state's best interest. They seek about $100 million in tax reductions and various gaming expansions such as allowing live table games in places where currently only video gambling is allowed and permitting certain operations only allowed on Lake Michigan and Ohio River boats to be pursued on land as well.
Despite the prediction of a 20% drop in casino revenue over the coming years, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma agrees with many in his opposition to these tax cuts and expansions. Bosma admitted that Indiana has "lived high on the hot" from casino money but wants the state to begin building some independence from that industry. Concerning the proposed casino measures he said, "I'm not prepared to engage in a massive expansion of gaming just to keep revenues up. I don't want to see us get any deeper."