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House Speaker Would Like To See Changes To Gaming Bill

House Speaker Brian Bosma says he anticipates amendments to a bill that eases regulations on the gaming industry.

Brian Bosma

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

House Speaker Brian Bosma says is hesitant about a bill that would allow casinos to be located on land.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says he has reservations about legislation headed to his chamber that he calls a significant expansion of gaming.

Senate-approved legislation includes tax breaks for casinos, adding live table games to racetrack casinos and allowing riverboats to move their gaming facilities completely on land. The bill aims to steel the state’s wagering facilities against pressure from gaming in all surrounding states.

Bosma says he understands that the state already essentially ignores the requirement that casinos be on water, but he has concerns about what he calls, in his words, “dropping the façade.”

“Because then I don’t think you can say no to anyone and you could have a casino here in downtown Indianapolis, you can have it in all of our urban areas and there’s no real means of saying, ‘Gee, that’s not our current public policy,’” he says.

But Lafayette Republican Senator Ron Alting, one of the bill’s sponsors, says the legislation only allows riverboats to move onto land adjacent to the water.

“That whole footprint already is legalized gaming,” he says. “So there’s no special permits. There’s no additional permits. The entire footprint is legal to operate gaming on.”

Alting says he believes Bosma will ultimately support the bill despite the Speaker’s personal feelings.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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