In Indiana, proposed legislation that would allow local casino operator Spectacle Entertainment to relocate one of its riverboat gambling licenses to a nearby land-based site has reportedly cleared another major hurdle.
According to a Wednesday report from the Tribune-Star newspaper, Senate Bill 552 was passed by the 50-member Indiana State Senate late last month before yesterday being unanimously approved by the Indiana House of Representative’s Public Policy Committee.
Spectacle Entertainment is responsible for the floating Majestic Star Casino Hotel and Majestic Star Casino Hotel II in Gary’s Buffington Harbor and has long been lobbying for the right to move both of these Lake Michigan facilities to inland sites. The operator would like to transfer one of these casino licenses to a new $300 million land-based venue to be constructed close to the nearby junction of Interstates 90 and 65 while shifting the second some 170 miles south to an undetermined area of Vigo County in the vicinity of the city of Terre Haute.
However, the Tribune-Star reported that the most recent approval of Senate Bill 552 did not come without some alterations to the proposed legislation’s language. The Public Policy Committee inserted a condition that would require Spectacle Entertainment to pay a $100 million fee in order to move one of its casinos onshore while a second would see any such move obligate the operator to surrender its remaining Gary license to the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The newspaper reported that, as now written, Senate Bill 552 would entail the Midwestern state subsequently launching a competitive bidding process for Spectacle Entertainment’s second Gary license and be in charge of selecting an operator to run the envisioned Vigo County casino.
As if this wasn’t enough, the Tribune-Star reported that the legislation also now contains a provision that would require Vigo County voters to approve any such new area casino via a referendum while another clause has deleted language that could have seen Indiana legalize a range of mobile sportsbetting services.
The newspaper reported that Senate Bill 552 is now destined to be scrutinized by the Indiana House of Representative’s Ways and Means Committee where it could possibly have its language altered even further. To become law, the legislation purportedly must be passed by this body’s 100-member parent before being ratified by the state’s Republican Governor, Eric Holcomb.