Photo: Robert Batina (flickr)
Lawmakers early Saturday morning approved legislation aimed at helping the state’s gaming facilities face compete against other states.
The gaming bill provides tax breaks and credits to the state’s riverboats and racetrack casinos, hoping to stem significant and growing revenue losses. Notably, it does not tax $5 million of free play for each casino.
Casinos currently send out coupons for up to, for instance, $100 of free play at their facilities, but are then taxed on that as if the customers had spent their own money.
But what the bill does not do is permit racetrack casinos to transition from electronic to live table games or allow riverboats to move their facilities entirely on land.
Those are two provisions the bill’s author, Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville), pushed hard for. Still, he says the measure will help.
“So it still will be difficult for some of the boats to compete but it provides some tool and it’s in incremental step towards helping them out,” Boots says.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.