December 21, 2018

Terre Haute Casino Unlikely In 2019 Session

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Matt Bell, left, lobbies for the state's casinos. Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), right, wants the state to allow a casino in his hometown. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Matt Bell, left, lobbies for the state's casinos. Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), right, wants the state to allow a casino in his hometown.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Some lawmakers in the 2019 session will once again push to put a casino in Terre Haute. But that prospect still looks unlikely.

Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) has pushed for a few years to move one of the state’s existing casino licenses to Terre Haute. And the state has traditionally put its casinos near the borders – in this case, it would be the border with Illinois. But House Public Policy Chair Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) says that’s not a good enough reason.

“What’s in Illinois on the other side of Terre Haute? I’ve driven that for a variety of reasons and I guess the best catch line I can give you is there’s a lot cows – and they don’t game,” Smaltz says.

The state’s existing casinos will also push back on such a move, according to casino lobbyist Matt Bell.

"Conversations about moving licenses make my members nervous and they make the industry nervous,” Bell says.

The session begins Jan. 3.

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