“Statewide this is very bad precedent”

Terre Haute casino plans killed by Senate committee

The legislation would have enabled the owners of Rising Star Casino in southeast Indiana to open a supplemental location in Terre Haute by moving some of their machines and tables.

United States 
| 17/02/2017

Lawmakers voted 5-5 on the creation of the casino. Because the Public Policy chairman Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, opposed the measure, it will die.

The legislation would have enabled the owners of Rising Star Casino in southeast Indiana to open a supplemental location in Terre Haute by moving some of their machines and tables.

Previously Full House Resorts, the parent company of Rising Star Casino, tried to open a casino near Indianapolis

The additional casino would have hurt casinos and their communities throughout the state, competitors said. Among those closest to Terre Haute are the casinos in Evansville and French Lick and the two "racinos" in Anderson and Shelbyville. While French Lick and the racinos would have received monetary support through provisions in the bill, Evansville would not have.

Tropicana Evansville is currently expanding its casino onto land, which Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, argued they might not have, had Terre Haute's casino been in the works.

"It would definitely affect our business in Evansville," John Chaszar, Tropicana's general manager previously said. "Any loss of revenue not only impacts the revenue of the casino, but it also affects the revenue of the city."

The Terre Haute casino wouldn't have paid the same level of taxes, because it was considered a supplemental location. It would have also been the first time lawmakers allowed a license to be split between two locations.

Testimony was overwhelmingly in support of the Terre Haute casino, however most senators cited a need to look at the entire state — especially their own districts.

"First of all, it benefits one casino company to the determent of many others. ...This would hurt my community and it would also hurt Tropicana's investment in what they’ve done," Becker said. "I think statewide this is very bad precedent."

Yogonet.com/indystar.com

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