It’s been well over a quarter-century since Gary State Mayor Earline Rogers sought to erect casinos in the little enclave of Indiana, in a bid to infuse the city’s economy with a much-needed jolt at the time. At the time, in 1989, the committed Mayor’s attempts were to no avail – but there was promise for the future, as Gary State voters had actually approved the establishment of the resort-type casinos in a referendum that had no official standing.
A further triumph at the time, which paved the way for May 2015’s approval of land-based gaming in India, was Mayor Earline Rogers’ success in convincing lawmakers to establish riverboat gambling just four years after his attempts to get the land casinos ratified. The lawmakers have allowed 10 of these riverboats to effectively move onto land, meaning that casino gamers no longer have to take to the water to play Blackjack and Slots.
What Spurred Land-Based Gaming in Gary, Indiana?
So why the change, after all these decades? No small amount of influence came from nearby States, which have seen a decline in gaming restrictions themselves in recent years, along with Native Americans flexing their State-independent clout and establishing tribal casinos for public consumption. But most importantly, a hundred-million dollar decrease in gaming revenues in the past year has helped to shift the legislative malaise in which land-based gaming has always been mired. Basically, the State misses those funds and is seeking to recoup them in the coming years for municipal projects.
Although most of the State senators seem to be on board with the signing of the bill, Mayor Rogers thinks there may be some opposition. Regardless, because the State’s gaming industry represents tens-of-thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue, it’s likely that any attempts at vetoing it from a senator or two will be met with an override.
The Majestic Star Casino intends (tentatively) to build a casino next to the hotel it operates in Buffington Harbor. There’s also talk of a land-based casino being built near the traffic-laden Borman Expressway, although a handful of existing riverboat casino operators apparently have a problem with that move. Nonetheless, the advocates for the casinos are charging forward, on the platform that it will create and sustain jobs by bringing in casino gamers from adjacent cities because f its proximity to the interstate. Majestic Star’s casino will cost over a hundred million dollars to build, so big things are expected of it after it goes up.