The stakes are high, as lawmakers discuss the possibility of revisiting Indiana’s casino laws.
In less than two months, another brand new casino opens its doors across the border, in Cincinnati. State representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany) is from southern Indiana, where he says his consitutents are concerned about the impact of new competition in the casino industry.
“Because we do have a lot of jobs and a lot of other community interests at stake, I’m hearing concerns,” Rep. Clere said.
At the Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville, they’re not all that far from Cincinnati. Kaleb Guinnup comes to Shelbyville to play poker, and he thinks Indiana could do more to bring people in.
“You’ve got to stay competitive,” he said. “So I think they have to react to it.”
“With the things that are going on in other states, I think it’s important we start the conversation now, and not wait until other states are even further ahead of us,” said Clere, who is hoping lawmakers take up the issue this session.
In Shelbyville, the mayor says it might be time for lawmakers to allow live dealers at the racino.
“I think we and Anderson are the only two that do not have live dealers,” said Mayor Tom DeBaun, a Democrat. “If we were to see table gaming, and things of that nature, it would actually, potentially, spur development.”
“I think we need to be looking at everything and everything should be on the table,” Rep. Clere said.
“If it helps the economy, that’s good,” said Guinnup.
But not everyone agrees.
“I’m against it,” said Chuck Swisher. “We already have a casino here. I just can’t see expanding it any further than we already have.”
“Doing nothing is not the answer ,” said Clere. “I just think it’s time we had a discussion about it.”
Officials at Indiana Grand Casino did not want to comment on any pending legislation.
Clere hopes the state Senate will take up the issue in the weeks to come.