The Indiana legislature has been looking at the casino industry closely this week, perhaps some changes are in store. Ohio approved sweeping casino legalization in a referendum last month so competition will increase no doubt.
One community with the most to gain from sweeping changes would be Gary Indiana. Gary has two casino boats, and the owner of those casinos filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors a few weeks ago. One proposal that has circulated for the last couple years is a reform allowing at least one of those licenses to move a casino inland, off the water, and closer to the traffic on the interstate.
A quick memory tour, due to the tax caps legislated in 2008 under HEA 1001, Gary filed in 2009 for Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board concessions on implementing those property tax caps. The budgets of the City of Gary and related government agencies have been slashed. Some have suggested they have been slashed too far.
The opportunity to pick up additional gaming revenue may be one of the only solutions for a community hard pressed already with budget cuts and increases in crime, homelessness, poverty, and property foreclosures.