Rep. Sean Eberhart: RACINO IMPROVEMENTS WOULD MEAN JOBS FOR INDIANA
INDIANAPOLIS – A bipartisan group of Indiana lawmakers joined forces today to announce that they would pursue a change in state law that would enable the state’s two racinos to offer live table games, a move they said would provide up to 600 jobs for Hoosiers without costing taxpayers a dime.
Appearing at a press conference at Hoosier Park in Anderson, the lawmakers said they would use the remaining days left in the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly to convince their colleagues to include the change in Senate Bill 529. The measure is up for final approval in the Indiana House on Monday, but is expected to go to a House-Senate conference committee to enable legislators to hammer out a final agreement before the session’s April 29 deadline.
Participating in this drive for live table games are State Senators Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) and State Representatives Terri Austin (D-Anderson), Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) and Jack Lutz (R-Anderson).
Current law requires Indiana’s two racinos – Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand in Shelbyville – to offer electronic table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps and poker. The change sought by the lawmakers would enable the racinos to put a live person in charge of the games rather than a machine.
They said passage of the change would:
– Create 600 new good-paying jobs at the racinos, paying an (annual salary of $40,000 plus health insurance and benefits.
– Create 350 construction jobs.
– Generate up to $20 million in new state tax revenue.
– Produce over $20 million in capital investments.
– Generate more than $40 million in additional economic benefits.
The lawmakers emphasized that the change would be made WITHOUT providing taxpayer-funded incentives.
“Think about it,” Austin said. “Instead of a machine, visitors to racinos will deal with a real person. Guests have said they prefer to play games with real cards, real chips and real dice. Let’s give them what they want.”
Eberhart added, “Gaming is Indiana’s third leading source of revenue. But now it is under attack from all bordering states. Illinois, Michigan and Ohio all have games, and Kentucky is joining the club soon. We must allow Indiana’s gaming industry to be competitive.”
Approval of the change to Senate Bill 529, Lutz noted, “would create jobs, keep Indiana competitive, and it won’t cost Hoosier taxpayers a dime.”