Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Now Gary Wants A Land-Based Casino

Well, that didn't take long. Just days after Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law legislation allowing the state's two horse race tracks in Anderson and Shelbyville to purchase franchises to operate what amounts to land-based casinos at their tracks, a push is on to allow a new, land-based casino in Gary. "Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, said lawmakers should go back to the drawing board in the next session and allow land-based gambling in the city," writes Steve Walsh of the Gary Post-Tribune.

Gary originally had two, separately-owned riverboat licenses until Donald Trump sold his license to Don Barden, the other license holder, two years ago. Gary officials are upset because the consolidation of the two licenses has led to a loss of jobs in the city. They want the Indiana Gaming Commission to rebid the second license. It seems to me that's something the local officials should have thought about when they stood by and allowed the Commission to approve Barden's purchase of the Trump license.

Barden's Majestic Star casino is none too happy about the position now taken by local officials. A comment by the casino's general manager David Schugar isn't likely to sit well with some. "We think that what is good for Don Barden is good for the city," Schugar told Walsh. "We wish the city would get behind us," Schugar added.

Barden wants to build one, large barge casino to replace the existing riverboats. The Commission is expected to vote in June on a renewal of both licenses for a 3-year period for Barden.


Wilson46201 said...

The original impetus for casino gambling in the state of Indiana was for the economic redevelopment of Gary (that city having been devastated by the collapse of the U.S. steel industry). Gambling enterprises then spread all over the state. Now the City of Gary returns to the well...

A basic rule of gambling: in the long run, the house always wins!

Anonymous said...

Remember Hill Valley in Back-to-the-Future 3?

Anonymous said...

One of the main, loud opponents of gambling at the outset, was Rev. Dr. Richard Hamilton, formerly pastor of North U.M. Church.

A solemn but imposing man, he railed against its main victims: those who cannot afford the habit in the first place.

(He's the father of sitting Federal Judge David, and the brother of former US Rep Lee)

He was right, of course. And now gambling revenues prop up the state budget big-time.

But if this plague is to exist, why can't everyone be treated equally? Fairness in a greed-based business...hmmmm...perhaps a difficult concept.

But Hoosiers, at their core, on big issues and small, seem to settle around the "fairness" concept. It is a huge advantage to living and doing business here. With rare exception, the final result in any business or personal deal is usually fairness. Our culture rewards it and demands it. Unlike many other areas of the country.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

It was Back to the Future 2.

Back to the Future 3 was in the Old West.