[r63] Gaming in Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You cannot put a price on the strength of working together. As a community, we do a very good job of coming together as a unit to provide support, outreach and resources for each other. I have always believed cooperation to be important, especially during my time at the Statehouse. 

As a House, I am proud to say that not only are Republicans and Democrats working together but the Indiana House and Senate are working together as a cohesive unit. Senate Bill (SB) 528 is a perfect example of this cooperation and is also a bill that will directly affect our district, House District 63.

Senate Bill 528 deals with many different aspects of gaming. The bill would authorize the use of limited mobile gaming systems and would allow the horse racing commission to reduce the percentage that a permit holder is required to retain from amounts wagered if reducing the amount retained in the best interest of horse racing. 

Indiana’s casinos provide a very important source of revenue to the state and have come under attack over the last few years with gaming expansion in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. In general, Indiana’s tax rate and regulation of gaming facilities are stricter than our neighboring states. These neighboring states have taken notice of this and are attempting to lure Indiana gambling business across the borders. 

The bill was changed in the House Committee on Public Policy to restore the local funding of the gaming revenues back into the hands of Hoosiers. Counties in my district that were affected were:

• Daviess County, which received $187,480 in 2012 and was scheduled to see a $37,496 cut in 2013.
• Dubois County, which received $248,147 in 2012 and was scheduled to see a cut of $49,629 for 2013.
• Martin County, which received $61,217 in 2012 and was scheduled for a $12,244 cut in 2013.
• Pike County, which received $76,092 in 2012 and was scheduled for a $15,218 cut in 2013.

All of these come from the $33 million of state revenue that was scheduled to get a 20 percent cut. 
Other important aspects of Senate Bill 528 are that it will allow gaming licenses to deduct no more than $2 million per state fiscal year for adjusted gross receipts (AGR) attributable to free play wagering. Additionally, SB 528 establishes the Indiana gaming investment tax credit for certain capital investments that are made after December 31, 2013, and before January 1, 2019, by a licensed owner or operating agent of a riverboat. 

Finally, the bill details that the amount of the tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the qualified capital investment made by the taxpayer during the taxable year. It specifies that the total amount of tax credits awarded may not exceed $40,000,000 in a state fiscal year. 

As you can see this bill covers many different aspects of gaming. As we move forward I am glad we were able to make these changes to address some of these concerns that our community had. However, keep in mind that in that as we move forward this is a process and I will continue to keep you updated as the bill approaches the full House.