Indiana Governor Passes Two Online Gambling Bills, Vetoes a ThirdPublished May 18, 2015 by Elana K
Indiana Governor Mike Pence is walking a fine line, passing two gambling bills into law, which he says do not contradict his opposition to online gambling, while vetoing a third that does go directly against his stance against online gambling.
The debate over online gambling is in full-swing in Indiana, with Governor Mike Pence recently allowing two gaming bill to pass into law, while vetoing a third bill.
The first two bills were passed into law without Governor Pence’s signature: HEA 1540, which will allow riverboat casinos to move their gaming to land, and SEA 252, which will allow the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to use breed development funds to promote the horse racing industry.
Commenting on the new laws, Pence said, “Most Hoosiers know that I oppose an expansion of gaming in Indiana, but I recognize that gaming has become an important part of the economy of many communities in our state and is an important part of our state budget.”
He continued, “From early in the legislative process, I made it clear that I would not stand in the way of reforms that would allow these businesses to remain competitive with surrounding states so long as it did not constitute an expansion of gaming in Indiana. HEA 1540 and SEA 252 meet this standard and, as such, I will permit them to become law without signature.”
The One That Got Away
The bill that Pence vetoed, HEA 1270 , would have allowed Indiana residents to place bets on horse races outside of the four existing off-track betting parlors and two parimutuel horse tracks. Pence said that this bill is totally against his stance on online gaming.
President and COO of Centaur Gaming and General Manager of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Jim Brown commented on the governor’s veto, “We are disappointed in the short term for our host communities. They would have benefited from the jobs created. We didn’t feel replacing an electronic dealer with a live dealer was expansion, but others did.”
But Brown hasn’t given up yet; he is already planning ahead for his company’s petition to the Indiana Gaming Commission in 2021.