ndiana state Rep. Alan Morrison has filed a bill that would repeal a requirement for Vigo County's casino to make one-time payments to other communities with gaming establishments to help offset potential revenue losses from increased competition.
Morrison's legislation would repeal a requirement that the licensed owner of the new Terre Haute casino, Spectacle Jack, has to make three one-time payments to the city of Evansville to compensate for potential revenue losses to its Tropicana Evansville casino, and would repeal supplemental distributions to casinos in East Chicago, French Lick, Hammond and Michigan City, the Tribune-Star reports. The gambling license for Vigo County's casino was originally held in Gary, and legislation passed in 2019 required these payments as part of its move to Terre Haute.
"Indiana casinos are already taxed heavily, with much of that revenue meant to benefit the communities they're located in," Morrison said in a news release. "It's bad policy to force these gaming establishments to share profits with other cities. Competition in the marketplace is good, and removing these mandatory payments levels the playing field for everyone."
Currently, the state requires the owner of Vigo County's casino to make a one-time payment of $1.2 million to the city of Evansville within its first year of operation, followed by one-time payments of $900,000 and $600,000 for the next two years.
Under current law, wagering tax revenue would be set aside to provide hold harmless funding for East Chicago, French Lick, Hammond and Michigan City during the first four years of operation. Amounts are determined by the state auditor using each city's base-year revenue.
House Bill 1183 has been assigned to the House Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.