IN Focus: New year, new laws in Indiana, neighboring states

Politics
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ANDERSON, Ind. –Some kicked off the new year Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson for the first day of live table betting. It opened to the public earlier after becoming legal in 2019.

“We’ve got the fun colors on the table, the chips, the chairs,” said Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Vice President of Operations Todd Berendji.

All bets are on for the first time in the state, live and legal. There a variety of games to choose from, roulette, craps, blackjack, Mississippi Stud, and three-card poker.

January 1, 2020, marked the start of live table betting in the Hoosier state. The first to roll the dice on this special occasion was Pacers Point Guard Victor Oladipo.

“Today is a combination of at least 10 years of trying to find some kind of happy medium where we could bring table games to the community of Anderson, Indiana,” said Berendji.

Berendji says it’s been a long time coming from hiring to training to recruiting. Indiana Grand in Shelbyville has also been doing the same. Berendji says Hoosiers asked and they received.

“It’s something that we’ve heard, something that we’ve wanted and something that rounds out the casinos for us,” said Berendji.

Across the border in Illinois, recreational marijuana has now been legalized, with the law taking effect on New Year’s Day as large crowds descended on dispensaries around the state.

Under the new Illinois law, Illinois residents can buy 30 grams of raw cannabis — or about one ounce — cannabis-infused products with no more than 500 milligrams of THC and five grams of concentrated cannabis product. Anyone from out of state can buy half that.

“If you’re coming from Illinois into Indiana and you have marijuana that you’ve been smoking or you have some on you, it’s going to be considered a criminal act here in the state of Indiana,” said Sgt. Kim Riley with Indiana State Police.

ISP said they are prepared to enforce Indiana’s no-tolerance stance. State police remind people if you are involved in a crash days or weeks after smoking marijuana you legally bought and smoked in Illinois, it could create an unwanted result in Indiana.

“You will be required to take a blood draw, and if it comes back with marijuana in your system, you very well could be arrested,” Riley said.

If law enforcement in Indiana catches someone with less than 30 grams, it’s a misdemeanor charge. If you carry more than that, it’s a felony.

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