Anybody still think the state is going to hold the line on expansion of gambling? A legislative panel was told this week that if Kentucky and Ohio go ahead with casino proposals and if Michigan OKs an expansion of its gambling, Indiana could lose as much aqs $250 million a year:
State lawmakers worried about how to cope with losing such a massive chunk of the $900 million Indiana collects annually from the state's 13 casinos are now considering proposals to bolster an industry that has been a budgetary cash cow.
One possibility mentioned Monday was allowing land-based gambling. Dingman said if lawmakers elect to allow land-based casinos . . .
[. . .]
When Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry asked the panel to recommend that his city's residents vote on a casino there, it underscored Indiana's reliance on the gambling industry in spite of all its troubles.
Even as competition grows and the casino business becomes less profitable, and even as opponents warned that a Fort Wayne casino would bring crime and bankruptcies to the area, Henry said he would vigorously pursue a casino and the jobs it could bring.
Guess the mayor has decided to stop being coy about his support for a casino, huh? I doubt if he even believed anybody believed him when he kept saying that all he wanted was for people here to have a say. There's no need for them to have a say if the mayor doesn't support a casino. Don't hold a referendum, and there won't be a casino. (That's Fort Wayne people who should have a say. The mayor made it pretty clear at the meeting that he doesn't give a rip if county voters have a say or not.)
And by the way, why does lost gambling revenue have to be replaced with more gambling revenue? If you've become too dependent on something, isn't the thing to do to diversify? Wasn't that the economic lesson we were supposed to have learned from the devastation Fort Wayne endured with the loss of Harvester?
UPDATE: Here are the mayor's prepared remarks for the gaming study committee. For a further indication of jus