Indiana Governor Mike Pence will not add his signature to a measure which will allow riverboat casinos in the state to move their gaming on-land. However, that is a political consideration and he will let one of three casino bills become law without his signature. The riverboat casinos will now be able to create facilities on land which will provide further revenues as well as gaming opportunities within Indiana.
The casinos of Indiana have faced stiff competition for some time now and have offered riverboat gaming since the 1990s. The casinos have been forced to remain on the water until now, incurring maritime expenses not burdening competition in nearby states.
In a statement on Friday, Pence said that his position on the matter was consistent with the bill. Pence believes the additional gaming will allow the casinos of Indiana to remain competitive without actually expanding gambling.
Pence objected to previous legislation that would have allowed the horse track casinos of the state to add live dealer gaming with table games. In the bill presented this week, the state has the option of seeking permission for live dealer gaming by 2021. Pence signed this bill but will be out of office when the issue arises again.
The governor did however veto a bill that would allow residents to place bets on horse races outside of the four current off track betting parlors and two parimutuel horse tracks. This bill passed both houses by hefty margins and lawmakers could choose to override the veto by a simple majority. Whether the veto stands or not, Pence stays on the record as opposed to expanded gambling in the state.
Pence has three options when bills are presented to him – he can sign the bill into law, veto the bill, or do nothing and let it become law without his signature. With these three gambling bills he exercised each of his authorities in one day.