GAMBLING IN INDIANA
Almost 9 out of 10 adults will gamble in their lifetime. Although gambling can be in many forms, such as lottery, sports betting, and illegal gambling, casino gambling remains one of the most popular gambling activities. With 12 casinos in Indiana, the state revenue can lead to big business. Over the past decade, Indiana has brought in a large amount of revenue from its 12 river boat casinos. In fact, Indiana is third in the nation in gambling revenue - only trailing Las Vegas and New Jersey (Walker, 2013). However, the gambling market is quickly changing, and Indiana is not. Online gambling is now more prevalent than ever, and surrounding Midwest states have rapidly entered the competitive gambling market. Indiana has the option to allow land based casinos, but, to date, has decided not to move forward. Without changes to the current casino gambling laws, Indiana will lose competitiveness in a market being saturated with casinos. This paper was authored by Indiana casino employee and references some of the personal experiences and knowledge that has been passed through emails, meetings and through general conversations during the last several years.
Indiana gambling laws are enforced by the Indiana Gaming Commission. Under Chapter 9 Gambling Operations, IC 4-33-9-1 in Indiana’s legislative code, one will find the following under “Approved gambling locations”
Sec. 1. Gambling may be conducted on a riverboat or in a facility in which a card tournament approved under section 10.5 of this chapter is conducted by:
1. A licensed owner,
2. An operating agent; or
3. A trustee in accordance with IC 4-33-21
(Indiana Gaming Commission, 2013) Although this code does allow card tournaments in several locations, most legal gambling within Indiana is limited to riverboat casinos. Originally, casinos were limited to riverboats in Indiana to limit the areas and number of casinos in an area. Although limiting casinos and gambling may be thought of in a positive light by some, it has begun to have a negative impact on the state’s economic development. Limiting gambling to only riverboats limits many other communities from having a casino in their area. Other important gambling provisions in Indiana include that Riverboats may be docked, or can cruise for no more than 4 hours. A person under the age of 21 years old may not make a wager (2013).
Nationally, and most importantly to Indiana, in the Midwest the Casino industry has been growing dramatically. Here in Northwest Indiana, leaders and politicians have been in a long standing war with those from Chicagoland. Although casinos were first built in Northwest Indiana, Illinois is quickly gaining ground. In 2011, Illinois opened Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, immediately causing an impact on the casinos in Northwest Indiana. The state’s casino revenue declined 4.2 percent, in large part due to the Illinois casino opening (Cook, 2013). In addition to the casino...