he riverboat law permits 10 Lake Michigan and Ohio River riverboats to construct land casinos on property close to their existing landings.
Pence said Friday he believed the measure met his standards in the state and undertook not to veto the well-supported bill from the state lawmakers.
“From early in the legislative process, I made it clear that I would not stand in the way of reforms that would allow these businesses to remain competitive with surrounding states so long as it did not constitute an expansion of gaming in Indiana,” the governor said in a statement.
Indiana’s land casinos have seen serious erosion of business and the loss of hundreds of jobs in recent years as more gambling options have become available in neighbouring Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
However, when it came to a second piece of strongly supported legislation from the state Legislature permitting the introduction of electronic wagering on horse racing, the governor took a very different view, exercising his first veto of the year and expressing the opinion that the bill represented an expansion of gambling in the state.
Local media reports reveal that the original version of the vetoed bill also proposed the introduction of live dealer casino games at racinos in Anderson and Shelbyville, but these were removed during the legislative process to ensure passage of the bill, and are on the back burner until at least 2021.
Unless legislators contest the veto with a solid majority vote, Indiana racing punters can place bets only at the state’s two horse tracks and four betting parlours.