State Rep. Touts Benefits of Gaming Reform Package

Rep. Dermody discusses the bill on the House floor.
Rep. Dermody discusses a bill on the House floor.

State Representative Tom Dermody says Indiana’s gaming outlets are facing an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Appearing at a breakfast on Friday in Knox, the 20th District state representative says he authored a bill that would allow riverboats to move onto adjacent land if it meets certain requirements. House Bill 1540 also makes certain tax deductions permanent, and allows river boats to host charity gaming events.

Dermody says the bill is the largest “jobs bill” of the session.

“With the increased competition in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and soon-to-be Kentucky, whether it’s this year, next year, or the year after, our casinos and racinos have continued to decline in revenue and more importantly in jobs,” says Dermody.

The bill recently received approved in the Senate, but now moves back to the Indiana House for further consideration.

According to Dermody, many of the gaming boat facilities in Gary and Evansville are in need of major repairs, or even replacement. The LaPorte Republican stressed the need to keep gambling in the state responsible, but said schools and local units of government depend on the funding as a revenue source.

Dermody says a casino in South Bend will pay far fewer taxes than other competitors.

“When it’s time to replace those, or look at new boats, we have a variety of things that allow them to be more competitive,” says Dermody. “Understand, we’re kind of in a partnership with them. They pay twice as many taxes as a standard business does.”

It also exempts certain casinos from an admissions tax.

The bill passed the Senate on April 9th 36 to 13. It had passed the House without much resistance earlier in the year.