In Indiana, the city council in Terre Haute has reportedly voted to support legislation currently making its way through the Indiana State Senate that would see the area permitted to host a casino complete with up to 720 slots and 30 gaming tables.
According to a report from local television broadcaster WTHI-TV, Senate Bill 354 was introduced by local Indiana State Senator Jon Ford in January and proposes to allow casino operator Full House Resorts Incorporated to relocate up to half of the games licensed for its Rising Star Casino Resort in Ohio County to a new facility in Terre Haute.
The broadcaster reported that city leaders listened to over 20 residents voice their opinions about bringing gambling to the city at a public meeting on Thursday with the majority of those who spoke opposed to the move because of concerns over crime and gambling additions.
“I deal directly with people who struggle with addiction,” one unidentified Terre Haute resident reportedly told the city council. “I see the devastation that it causes in marriages. I see the problem that it causes in families. I see the finances that could have gone towards meaningful revenue for the city blown on something that causes debt and people have nothing to show for it.”
However, supporters of bringing a casino to the Vigo County community reportedly discussed the estimated 750 jobs it would create and the associated revenues that could be used to fund programs in the city of almost 61,000.
“I don’t see any downfall in adding more revenue that can be taxed and we can make more money off of it,” a casino-supporting Terre Haute resident told the city council during the over four-hour meeting.
The broadcaster reported that the vote represents a stamp of approval from local leaders as debate continues in Indianapolis. Senate Bill 354 is due to be put up for passage by the Indiana State Senate Committee On Public Policy on Wednesday while a positive outcome would see the legislation balloted by the full Indiana State Senate, whose support would subsequently see the measure make its way to the Indiana House Of Representatives.
Ford earlier declared that Terre Haute is an ideal location for a new casino because it lies at least two hours away from similar gaming operations in Indiana and Illinois with the closest being French Lick Resort Casino around 108 miles away in Orange County.