In Indiana, proposed legislation that would allow local casino operator, Spectacle Entertainment, to relocate one of its riverboat gambling licenses to a land-based site in the city of Terre Haute has reportedly cleared another hurdle after being approved by the Indiana State Senate.
According to a Tuesday report from The Indianapolis Star newspaper, Senate Bill 552 was passed by a vote of 38 to 11 and is now set to be put to a ballot before the Indiana House of Representatives within the next two months. If it is subsequently approved by this 100-member body, the legislation would be placed before the Midwestern state’s Republican Governor, Eric Holcomb, for his signature.
Terre Haute move:
Spectacle is reportedly responsible for the floating Majestic Star Casino Hotel and Majestic Star Casino Hotel II in Gary’s Buffington Harbor but has been lobbying for the right to move both facilities to inland sites. The ratification of Senate Bill 552 would allow the firm to transfer one of these riverboat casino licenses to a new $300 million land-based facility to be located along nearby Interstate 94 with the second destined to travel some 170 miles south to an undetermined site in Terre Haute.
The author of Senate Bill 552, Indiana State Senator, Mark Messmer, told the newspaper that his legislation represents a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ as its passage would also legalize sportsbetting, eliminate casino ownership caps and speed up the introduction of live-dealer gaming tables at the state’s racinos.
Should it be signed into law, Senate Bill 552 would allow any of Indiana’s racinos, casinos and satellite gambling facilities to apply for a license to offer land-based wagering on any professional sport. This portion of the legislation was purportedly made possible following last year’s invalidation by the United States Supreme Court of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and could see the state bring in up to $1.6 million in additional annual tax revenues by next year.
Regarding live-dealer gaming tables, The Indianapolis Star reported that the ratification of Senate Bill 552 would allow the state’s racinos to feature these land-based innovations as soon as later this year instead of in 2021. The newspaper detailed that this later deadline was earlier agreed in order to give French Lick Resort in rural Orange County enough to time to prepare for an anticipated increase in competition and is supported by the Speaker for the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian Bosma.