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Rolling The Dice? The State Of Gambling In The State Of Indiana

Dice The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's Tracy Warner asks some tough questions about Indiana's reliance on gaming revenue to fund various programs. Your thoughts?

"Gamblers dropped more than $4 billion on state-sanctioned gaming in Indiana in the past year, nearly $700 for each Hoosier.

"By way of comparison, consider that in 2005, according to the Indiana Business Research Center, the payroll of the state's entire hotel and restaurant industry was $3.6 billion.

"In less than two decades, Indiana - known nationwide as a conservative, family-values red state - has gone from no legal gambling to one of the most prodigious in the nation in terms of gambling revenue.

"The explosion in various forms of gambling raises serious questions:

"Is Indiana foolhardy in banking on the discretionary entertainment dollars of Hoosiers and visitors to balance the state's books?

"Is Indiana like a problem gambler, rolling the dice and hoping for one more win?

"So far, Indiana's 18-year track record indicates gambling has been good to the state, without serious negative consequences.

"In other words, it's working, and much of it is financed not by Hoosiers but by residents of Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Michigan.

"'Theoretically, it's an incredible risk,' said Ed Feigenbaum, who has produced a newsletter aimed at the state's gaming industry since its infancy in 1993. But, Feigenbaum argues, there have been no major scandals, no major documented social ills and, although it's hard to quantify, no outbreak of problem gambling.

"'If we wouldn't have had the casinos, we certainly would have had to raise taxes an exorbitant amount,' Feigenbaum notes."

Comments

Blue Chip in Michigan City is laying off
some current workers due to the Indian tribe
casino in New Buffalo about 10 miles away.

See link
http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/11175256.html

ALso rumored is there will be a casino in Chicago... that will be enormous.

I don't have strong feelings about gambling one way or the other... and most casino experiences I've had are boring... French Lick perhaps being the exception (though I didn't gamble there at all)... but I think Indiana has done pretty well in using casinos to pull in LOTS of dollars from surrounding states.

How many dollars came to Indiana over the past 10 years from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky... and what would we do if those stopped?

It is poor public policy to fund basic services with this source of erratic revenue.

Clearly we have lost our way when this source of government funding is in the top three with income taxes and property taxes.

It almost reaches the level of irresponsibility for the multi-billion dollar obligations for unfunded government pensions. (Teacher retirement etc..)

"In other words, it's working, and much of it is financed not by Hoosiers but by residents of Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Michigan."

The Indiana legislator's just killed the golden goose when they expanded casino gambling into central Indiana at the horse tracks. It creates competition for the other 11 Indiana casino's as surrounding states open their own across the state borders.

Kentucky's election of Democrat Governor Steve Beshear is bad news for Indiana's Ohio River casinos. Beshear ran on a platform focused on the establishment of casino gambling in conjunction with Kentucky's horse tracks.

there should be a land based casino in indianapolis. there you wouldn't have to worry about losing revenue from border states expanding gambling. the money could be used for improving and expanding mass transit in indy and for ips schools.

Tyler,

I think you are missing the point. Placing a casino in Indianapolis or central Indiana just re-circulates entertainment dollars that would have been spent anyway.

Getting out of state residents to come into Indiana to spend money on gambling or anything else increases the size of our revenue pie, which is much more productive than competing over your piece of a small revenue pie.

Indianapolis already has legal gambling. There is an off track betting parlor in the downtown Embassy Suites Hotel and lottery outlets everywhere.

Don't forget a short drive to Anderson or Shelbyville will soon have slots and horses.

It's ironic that everyone concentrates upon the revenue casino's pay in taxes to the state.

Few seem to realized that almost all of these casino company's are headquartered out of state and that Indiana is only getting a small fraction of the money they are taking out of state in profits to reinvest in their other properties in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc..

8:42's assertion that profits are taken from Indiana properties and reinvested elsewhere is a fallacy. Look at the investments now underway at existing Indiana casinos -- $500 million in Hammond to build a new gaming facility, $300 million in Lawrenceburg to build a new gaming vessel, $130 million in Michigan City for a hotel tower. These are significant investments that would be making huge headlines if they were in Central Indiana.

People in Ohio are stupid and they will continue to go to nieghboring states to gamble.
The governor wants to be Hillary's VP, so to carry Ohio like Bush did, it must stay conservative. With KY. getting Slots at there tracks and Indiana getting the same in 08, We are totally surrounded, with 4 location on the eastern ohio, Pennsylvania border, W. Virgina, and Detroit, Michigan, Ohio is suporting everyone econemy except there own

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