Indiana Coalition Group Look To Legalize VGT’s Outside Casinos
There is a push to legalize video gambling in the state of Indiana. The group behind this move is made up of trade organizations who represent licensed beverage dealers ad bowling centers as well as amusement and music operators. They call themselves the Video Game Coalition and are advocating placing electronic terminals in bars and truck stops where players can gamble on anything from blackjack, poker and other games that are currently only legal in casinos. VGT’s were legalized for casinos only in 2012 and there are around 22,000 of them which generate around $1 billion of which $300m goes to the state coffers.
According to the coalition, revenues generated could be used to fund Indiana’s infrastructure needs including transportation without the need to raise taxes. The group is looking of regulators to sponsor the bill. During the 2016 session Sen. Mark Messmer authored legislation legalizing video terminal but it never saw the light of day as it was killed in the Senate Rule Committee, Messmer said he had no plans to resubmit the bill in 2017.
The games or VGT’s proposed look similar to slot machines but would be limited to a maximum of $2 and offer a maximum payout of $599. The bill drafted by the group will legalize VGT’s only to establishments that limit the age of patrons to over 21.
As spokesman for the Indiana Amusement and Music Operators Association who are part of the Video Game coalition said,” Basically what we’re trying to do is create revenues for local businesses and local communities through VGT’s, which they have done in Illinois very successfully. … We’re trying to mirror that effort.”