(INDIANAPOLIS) – If Gary gets a downtown casino, it’s likely to come with a price tag.
The House Public Policy Committee voted unanimously this week to charge a $100 million fee if the new owners of a Gary casino go through with plans to move it from the lakefront to downtown. House Speaker Brian Bosma points out there’s precedent. He notes Indiana’s racetracks paid a fee to add slot machines. He says it doesn’t make sense to leave the conditions of the casino license unchanged when some estimates put the added value of a downtown casino as high as $750 million.
Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray and House Ways and Means Chairman Todd Huston both say the amount could change, but say they’re open to the concept of requiring a fee. Huston’s committee hears the bill next, sometime in the next week-and-a-half.
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says the nine-digit fee strikes him as “aggressive,” but says he wants to hear the justification for it before passing judgment.
The revised bill would also put a second Gary casino license owned by newly-formed Spectacle Gaming up for bid if Spectacle seeks to move the casino to Terre Haute.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)