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(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Senate votes next week on a wide-ranging gambling bill.

The bill would legalize sports betting at casinos, and move one of Gary’s casinos to Terre Haute. The other would move off the lakefront to a downtown highway interchange. And the bill would allow live dealers at the racetrack casinos in Anderson and Shelby County this year — current law delays that until 2021.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says placing a casino off I-80/94 in downtown Gary will help business there, but she says the key to the proposal for Gary is clearing the casinos off the lakefront, opening up Buffington Harbor for a major shipping hub and other development.

A Senate committee dropped a provision which would have let the second Gary casino move anywhere in the state. Majority Leader Mark Messme (R-Jasper), the bill’s author, says he still hopes to restore a clause letting casino operators bid for the license, instead of Gary operator Majestic Star just selling it to someone.

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