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Gaming Industry Spends To Lobby


The power of Indiana's multi-billion dollar gambling industry is being tested at the Statehouse this year.

Indiana's 11 casinos and two racetracks with slot machines are seeking new concessions from the General Assembly in what they say is a do-or-die situation.

The gambling industry spent more than $19 million lobbying at the Statehouse from 2000-2012, according to reports filed online by the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission.

New Gov. Mike Pence said recently that he opposes any expansion but would consider cutting taxes for casinos.

Competition from next door states like Ohio has the industry asking for help to stay competitive.

Gambling money is the state's fourth-largest source of tax revenue, last year amounting to $614 million dollars.

This year that is expected to drop to around $520 million.

Only the state's sales tax and personal and corporate income taxes bring in more.

This year there is a Senate bill that would legalize full-blown casinos on land, allow the race tracks to install table games and allow casinos to withhold some of the aid they pay to the counties where they're located.