April 12, 2019

House Amends Gaming Bill, Seeks Transparency

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

After substantial changes were made to this session's gaming bill, an amendment was added Thursday to increase transparency. It was in response to a report that Gov. Eric Holcomb had met privately with the Gary casino's CEO.

An Indianapolis Star report detailed two flights Holcomb took with Spectacle Entertainment's CEO, Rod Ratcliff. The company owns the Gary casino and would stand to benefit from the gaming legislation - it allows the casino to move to a more lucrative location off the waterfront. It also provides a $50 million dollar decrease in the cost of moving the casino.

Rep. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) objected to Holcomb's private meetings with the CEO, and proposed an amendment to require lawmakers to make those types of meetings public.

"They were constantly saying, somebody's going to go to jail from this General Assembly. And the reason they said that is because in every other state, gambling brought legislators to jail," Bauer says.

The amendment prevailed 61-28.

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