Terre Haute inched another step closer to bringing a casino to the area Monday as SB 552, also known as the “Gaming Matters Bill,” passed its third House reading in a 78-15 vote.
This bill, which could potentially bring a casino to Terre Haute and legalize sports betting across the state, now heads to the conference committee where a democrat and republican from both the house and the senate will reconcile a final version of the bill.
Although the bill passed through with ease Monday, it is clear from the reps who spoke on the bill that there is a lot of work yet to be done.
Rep. Alan Morrison said he would support the bill, but much of it needed to be fixed.
Morrison pushed for the mobile component of sports betting to be put back into the bill.
“So when we take this back to the senate, I certainly think that we need to look at how the mobile gaming would get back into the bill and make sports wagering a very worthwhile endeavor for this bill and this state,” Rep. Morrison said. “So, I certainly appreciate once again everyone’s work on it, I will support the bill, but I think it needs a lot of work.”
Rep. Morrison also noted that the way the bil lis currently written, Terre Haute would not have a chance at a casino license.
Not everyone spoke in favor of the bill. Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon was one of the “no” votes.
“I don’t think it’s fair to change the rules in the middle of the game, and benefit and choose one community over another, and Hammond, Ind. followed all the rules,” Rep. Reardon said. “Hammond did the right thing, and now Hammond is going to suffer because the rules have been changed by this body, and I ask you to vote ‘no.'”