A Northwest Indiana lawmaker is backing a proposal to let a land-based casino in Gary.
State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) introduced legislation this week to approve the use of one particular on the two Gary casino boats licenses for a land-based casino
operation. This is the latest try by the city of Gary to have a land-based casino.
City leaders think it would produce extra revenue for your city and improved position Gary against any casino operation that could be approved for Chicago or maybe a southern suburb.
A comparable bill introduced final year by longtime State Senator Earline Rodgers, a Democrat from Gary, failed.
Majestic Star Casino at present operates two gambling boats in Buffington Harbor off Lake Michigan in Gary.
But revenue for the 5 casino boats off Lake Michigan continues to decline. In 2012, the Indiana Gaming Commission reported that the 5 boats generated about $1.1 billion, a $24 million decline from 2011.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says a land-based casino would not only be good for Gary but for all of Northwest Indiana.
“Many Northwest Indiana residents acknowledge that the results of the city of Gary plus the entire region are inextricably linked,” Freeman-Wilson stated within a ready statement released Thursday. “It is clear that regional prosperity requires a vibrant and flourishing Gary. As evidenced by Senate Bill 585, Indiana state leadership understands this and is open to assisting the city using a path forward to attain this finish. It is important to understand that we’re actively engaged with our neighborhood legislators who are leaders in the General Assembly, other members from the Northwest Indiana delegation and the entire Common Assembly to place our finest financial development foot forward for your benefit in the city and citizens of Gary, Northwest Indiana, as well as the entire state.”
If authorized, the location most touted for a land-based casino in Gary would be off Interstate 89/94 amongst Grant Street and Broadway, a single of your busiest highway corridors in the country.
But although Gary has the support of some inside the Statehouse, not every person in Northwest Indiana supports a land-based casino for Gary, not even its next door neighbor to the west, the City of Hammond, is in favor of it.
Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. is opposed to such a program since it may hurt revenues at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.
McDermott has stated that he would support a land-based casino in Gary if Hammond is allowed to possess a land-based one also.
It can be unclear if the bill will get a hearing or if new Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would support a land-based casino in Northwest Indiana. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels had said he would have viewed as such a program to maintain Northwest Indiana casinos competitive, however it never ever materialized.