Committee approves live gaming, land-based casinos – The Herald Bulletin

INDIANAPOLIS — The dream of live table games in Hoosier Park Racing & Casino took another step toward reality Thursday when the public policy study committee at the Indiana Statehouse recommended live gaming be legalized in Indiana’s racinos.

The recommendation was part of a final report delivered by the committee during its last of three meetings. Along with live gaming, the committee also made the recommendations to allow riverboat casinos to move gambling on land, to incentivize capital improvements and to change the way the state collects the admission tax casinos have to pay. The recommendations are all attempts at making Indiana’s casinos more competitive with the new casinos in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

Although the final report received unanimous bipartisan support, the recommendations still have to be placed in a bill that will have to be passed by the full General Assembly during the 2015 session.

The live table games language was directed at Indiana’s two racinos, Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand in Shelbyville. Currently, they both have typical casino table games like poker or blackjack but the games are run by computers instead of live human dealers.

At the behest of Centaur Gaming, which owns both racinos, the committee decided to allow live dealers. Jim Brown, president and COO of Centaur, has stated at previous meetings the live games will attract more customers who are wary of games run by computers and create more jobs.

If the recommendation, as passed, becomes law, the racinos will be able to add a live dealer to all of their current table games. They will not be able to add any new table games for two years.

Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson, didn’t like the two-year clause. She said she thought the casino industry was regulated enough and didn’t want the racinos to have to wait to add more …read more

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