Crowds fill 2 casinos as table games with live dealers start

SHELBYVILLE (WISH) — Players came out as table games with live dealers and attendants premiered Wednesday in Indiana, thanks to a change in state law.

“I think it’s beautiful,” said Marie Bryant, of Indianapolis. “I think it’s nice and it’s really exciting! It’s really exciting to see something like this that I’ve never seen in life before.”

Drew Mathies, who turned 21 a couple weeks ago, said table games with live dealers were new to him. “There’s a bunch of people out here,” the Shelbyville man said. “Everybody looks excited to play. I think it’s great!.”

Drew went to a casino near Shelbyville with his brother, Mitchell Mathies of Shelbyville. Drew said, “I’m going to learn from him and hopefully not lose too much, but we’ll see!”

Mitchell said he looks forward to what the change will mean for Indiana. “I think a lot of money will stay in the state in my opinion. I think because you have this here, you have this luxury here, you don’t have to travel to go play live dealers.”

Forty-three table games with live dealers opened New Year’s Day at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino near Shelbyville. In Anderson, Indiana Pacers player Victor Oladipo and state Sen. Greg Taylor helped launch 28 table games at Harrah’s Hoosier Park casino.

“Thank you for letting me be here and experience this, and be a part of something that improves the State of Indiana,” Oladipo said, according to a news release from Hoosier Park. “Because with improvement the sky is the limit for this state.”

Ty Hopkins of Indianapolis went to Indiana Grand. He said, “Yeah, it has that Vegas feel to it.”

Gurpreet Singh of Indianapolis and his friends won a couple hundred bucks on the new table games. “We played blackjack. One was you have the dice and you throw the dice.”

Part of the state’s massive gaming bill approved in 2018 allowed live dealers starting Jan. 1. State Sen. Jean Leising said she believes the live table games will bring in millions of dollars and jobs into Indiana’s economy.

“I know that I’ve heard everything from 700 jobs between the two casinos,” Leising, a Republican from Oldenburg, said. “And those are going to be descent-paying jobs.”

Indiana Grand hired more than 300 people ahead of Wednesday’s launch.