Indiana to Examine Fall of Gambling Revenues
As revenue from riverboat casinos continues to fall, Indiana lawmakers may consider how to address increased gambling competition from neighboring states. Casino taxes brought in $876 million in 2009 but had fallen to $752 million by 2013. The state’s three casinos near Cincinnati have all seen major falls in revenue since a casino opened in Ohio City last year.Senate President Pro Tem David Long said that lawmakers realize that casinos are now under serious threat and he supports assigning the issue to a summer study committee. Long said that “The whole issue seems to revolve around the expansion of gaming and what do you interpret that to mean”.
Long explained that the committee will be exploring the declining revenue from riverboats which are already down 7% from projections for the fiscal year. The last two decades have seen Indiana’s casinos bring billions in for state coffers. The money has been used to bolster local budgets and pay for various projects.
State Sen. Vanetta Becker, R-Evansville, has said that she also supports a summer study of the issue. Becker said, “It is a fact of life that communities and the state rely on that revenue to fund a portion of government services, so I think we ought to look at it to see if there are ways to help the industry”.