'Assault on the system' threatens Indiana's riverboats

Nov 26, 2012 9:05 AM

Indiana’s gaming tax revenues grew strongly during the early days when the state’s 13 riverboat casinos were licensed. But the glory days are over and the state’s revenues are dwindling.

Defining the problem, say some Indiana lawmakers, is easy: “There is an all-out assault on the system that Indiana has implemented, which was to take other people’s money. They’re out to get it back.”

That was the statement by Senate President David Long who claimed that increased competition from casinos in Michigan and, he expects, Illinois, are taking gamblers away from 10 of Indiana’s 13 riverboat casinos that are located in counties adjacent to other states.

But, just how Indiana should counteract the infringement, is another matter.

Indiana doesn’t need more casinos, said Long, it just needs “more competitive” ones. Exactly what that means was not explained other than a suggestion that improvements could be made if support could be found among the entire northwest Indiana delegation of legislators.

But, Long did say he supported efforts by Majestic Star casinos in Gary to move its riverboat license from Lake Michigan to an onshore site. The move was opposed by local politicians. 

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