INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted in favor of live dealers at the racetrack casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville Wednesday.
The governor is opposed to an expansion of gambling and the live dealers at table games are intended to bring more business to the racinos.
That’s a conflict.
Nevertheless, the House voted 75-to-18 in favor of the bill that also permits riverboat casinos to move on land.
It’s an effort to bolster a sagging gambling industry in Indiana as new competition has surfaced in surrounding states.
The debate in the House was relatively brief as the author of the bill argued that replacing the electronic dealers in Anderson and Shelbyville is not really an expansion.
“If right now they have 48 e-table games or electronic table games,” said Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte,) “it will maintain 48 but they could convert up to half of those, 24 say, to live dealers.”
Senate GOP Leader David Long indicated that the Senate will consider the gambling bill.
“I think we have to figure out what is and what is not an expansion of gaming,” he said, “live with that definition, and then see what we can do to help these institutions survive in a day of increased competition.”
However, changes in the bill are anticipated and you can expect that the governor will attempt to influence the Senate debate.