Casino bill, SB 552, advances to the full House

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A bill that could help bring a casino to Terre Haute was advanced to the full House in the Indiana Legislature.

The House Ways and Means Committee heard Senate Bill 552 on Tuesday Morning.

The committee passed the bill with a vote of 17 to 6.

Committee Co-Chair State Rep. Todd Huston proposed an amendment, which passed, that makes major changes to the bill.

The amendment says a new gaming license would be created for Vigo County, which means that what happens in Gary no longer affects Terre Haute’s chances of bringing in a casino.

The amendment also calls for a Vigo County Advisory Board. That board would be made up of community members including the mayor, a county commissioner, an appointee by the governor and Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.

The board would be responsible for choosing the best three gaming operators, which would then enter an auction for the Vigo County gaming license with a minimum bid of $25 million.

The bill also requires a referendum on Vigo County ballots in either November of this year or May of 2020.

State Rep. Huston’s amendment also reduces the fee for Gary to move a casino inland. The fee was originally set at $100 million, but is now $50 million.

Senate Bill 552 now moves to the full house.

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