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KRUSE REPORT: The Economic Impact of Indiana Gaming
Start Date: 3/4/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/4/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

By State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn)

Since the first Indiana riverboat casino opened in 1995, which I opposed, the gaming industry has produced more than $10 billion in wagering and admission tax revenue for the state. Gaming has become a major player in the Indiana economy, but the expansion of new casinos and racinos in surrounding states have posed a challenge to Indiana’s gaming business.

In 2010, Indiana’s 13 gaming facilities generated a total of $875 million in tax revenue. Since then, our state has accumulated the second highest gaming revenue in the country. Indiana accomplished these marks by making casinos and racinos easily accessible to out of state citizens.

The state revenues from this source are decreasing, however, partially due to the expansion and creation of gaming facilities in surrounding states, including Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. With 10 out of Indiana’s 13 casinos located along state lines, surrounding states have built or are in the process of building new gaming sites in order to compete with Indiana casinos. If a casino location is convenient, current out-of-state customers will be more likely to stay within their own state when they want to gamble. The proximity of these new out-of-state casinos to Indiana’s state lines has already affected the gaming industry within Indiana.

A year after the opening of Ohio casinos near the state line, Indiana saw a 6 percent decrease in visitors to state casinos and a 5 percent loss of tax revenue. The newly-opened Ohio casinos are projected to decrease Southeast Indiana gaming revenue by about $75 million. The impact of these new out-of-state casinos has a direct influence on our two-year state budget as well as to our entire economy.

Indiana legislators have a decision to make in regards to this issue. Should we find ways to increase gaming revenues to compete with our neighbors, or should we live with the current situation and prevent any further expansions of gaming?

I’ve been opposed to bolstering our gaming industry for many reasons. Gambling often has a harmful impact on society, and I believe it should not be encouraged or expanded. Allowing gaming in our state has enabled people to establish gambling addictions. The state should find other sources of revenue to decrease the impact gaming has on our state budget.

However, supporters of increasing gaming revenue believe that Indiana does not have to expand gaming, just improve the existing industry to compete with casinos and racinos in other states. They argue that if people want to participate in gaming activities, they will go to the most convenient place to do so. With gaming being the fourth largest revenue source for Indiana, Hoosiers must do what they can to continue this thriving industry.

For better or worse, gaming has become a major part of the Indiana economy. Lawmakers are faced with a decision to keep the gaming industry booming in our state or continue to let it decline from out- of-state competition. What do you think?

Contact Information:
Name: Tracy Lytwyn
Phone: 317-234-9221
Email: tlytwyn@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
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