Photo: Hoosier Park Fan (flickr)
With final negotiations underway on the fate of legislation aimed at helping Indiana’s gaming facility, House and Senate sponsors still have a fundamental disagreement on the bill.
The Senate version of the gaming bill authorized live table games at racetrack casinos, replacing electronic games, and allowed riverboats to move their facilities on land. The House removed those provisions.
Rep. Bill Davis (R-Portland), the bill’s House sponsor, says a gaming bill that contains live table games and inland casinos will not be considered an option.
“We think that we have the bill in a position right now or in a place that does what we were setting out to do and that was to help an industry that’s starting to get a lot of competition,” he says.
Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville), the bill’s author, says he wants to see those provisions put back in the legislation but will not risk losing the bill entirely.
“It appears to me that probably the most important thing we can do is the tax break on the free play, promotional play,” he says. “I think that’s the most advantageous thing we can do for their benefit right now.”
Casinos currently send out coupons for up to, for instance, 100 dollars of free play at their facilities but are then taxed on that as if the customers had spent their own money.
The proposed tax break would allow casinos not to pay tax on up to $3 million of free play next year and $5 million after that.