New Indiana casino tax law draws praises from operators

Casino operators in Indiana have hit a jackpot after state Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed a new casino tax law.

The Chicago Tribune reported that many casino operators had previously called on the state government to abolish the add-back tax on casinos, which they described to be unfair. Many lamented that casinos are the only businesses in the state that are required to pay the add-back tax

Their pleas were finally heard when Holcomb signed House Bill 1350 into a law. The new casino tax law effectively phased out an add-back tax over eight years and switch them from an admissions tax to a supplemental wagering tax, which was based on a percentage of gross gaming revenues.

Blue Chip Casino and Spa, which claimed to be one of the hardest hit by the admissions tax believes that the enactment of the new tax law will provide the Indiana casino industry with stability from a tax perspective, and it will encourage additional re-investment in Indiana.

The transition to a supplemental wagering tax, according to casino operator, will end that unintended outcome.

“It will provide Blue Chip with much-needed stability from a tax perspective. And it should encourage other Indiana casino operators to continue re-investing in their properties. We operate in an extremely competitive regional gaming market, so anything Indiana can do to encourage re-investment will help ensure our future success,” David Strow, a spokesman for the parent company of Blue Chip Casino and Spa in Michigan City, said, according to the news report.

Troy Stremming, a spokesman for Ameristar Casino in East Chicago’s parent company, Pinnacle Entertainment, echo the sentiments of Strow and even described House Bill 1350 as a good piece of legislation.

On the other hand, Horseshoe Hammond Casino hailed the legislation for enhancing the competitiveness of Indiana’s casinos.

But not all are happy about the new legislation.

Democratic Sen. Karen Tallian, who voted against the bill, warned that Michigan City and LaPorte would be hit financially with the switch to a supplemental wagering tax.

Calvin Ayre

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