IN lawmakers lay groundwork for gambling debate

IN lawmakers lay groundwork for gambling debate

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Members of the Indiana's ailing gambling industry have made their case to state lawmakers as they look for new ways to survive new competition from neighboring states.

Casino executives and lobbyists asked members of the Legislature's gambling study committee Wednesday to consider a range of solutions including moving riverboat operations onto land and allowing table games at the state's racetracks.

Gambling tax collections have faltered greatly in the past year. Wagering tax collections fell off $90 million from 2013 levels and the admissions tax brought in $9 million less than last year.

The steep drop in gambling revenues comes at a time when Indiana already is feeling a budget pinch from stagnant tax collections overall and Gov. Mike Pence's desire to maintain $2 billion in cash reserves.

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