When asked why Vermillion County recently passed a resolution supporting a casino in Vigo County, Council President John Michael Major had a quick response.
“What’s good for Vermillion County is good for Vigo County, and what’s good for Vigo County is good for Vermillion County,” said Major.
He says economic development is an easy selling point for a county with unemployment rates that run higher than surrounding areas.
“It’s gonna create what 400 permanent jobs and 300 Union construction jobs, Vermillion County is a strong Union community, and anything that’s Union the county will support,” said Major.
And according to Major, Vermillion County wouldn’t even need to take a large percentage of those jobs to benefit from a casino.
“Being a small county, if we get 10, 20, 30 people that go to work at a casino, and it may be a bartender or a server, or even working table games, you know that drastically reduces the burden on the county,” said Major.
Senator Jon Ford has frequently communicated with Major and other local county officials and says he’s grateful for their support.
“It’s great to see, because I think the Chamber of Commerce and other groups have been working on regionalism, and so I think everybody’s starting to come together and work together and for them to support us, they know if we have this here their residents will be entertained there or work there so it’s great and it’s what’s helping us get this moved forward,” said Ford.
Major echoes Ford’s thoughts that regionalism is key to the success of legislation like the “Gaming matters” bill.
“Together we are stronger, as a body, so if we can go up to the Statehouse and talk to Gov. Holcomb and talk to legislators and tell them that hey we’re all in on this, it’s not just about gaming, it’s about a destination, it’s about putting Vigo County and West Central Indiana on the map,” said Major.
He says the community supports a casino in Terre Haute over a casino in closer areas like Danville, IL, because they want to see revenue stay in the state of Indiana.