This position is stated in www.indystar.com Our position is: State lawmakers must halt the march toward another expansion of gambling.
Indiana’s foray into state-sanctioned gambling began with the seemingly innocent creation of a lottery 15 years ago. Four years later, the General Assembly approved a bill legalizing the first riverboat casinos.
More boats would follow. So would longer hours for the casinos to stay open. Then came dockside gambling. With each step, Indiana raised a little more revenue and made gambling a little more mainstream.
Indiana already is third in the nation in the collection of gaming revenues, behind only Nevada and Illinois. In 15 years, Indiana has gone from a state that officially discouraged gambling to one that embraces it emphatically.
Now, the state may be poised to add thousands of pull-tabs, slot machines essentially, at horse tracks and off-track betting parlors.
If a bill now before the legislature is passed, Downtown Indianapolis could have what amounts to a land-based casino, complete with 1,500 pull-tab machines, before the end of the year. Another off-track betting parlor in Fort Wayne would be stocked with pull-tabs. And the state’s two horse tracks — Hoosier Park in Anderson and Indiana Downs in Shelby County — would add 1,000 pull-tab machines.
Similar proposals have briefly flourished in the General Assembly, before dying, usually in the Republican-controlled Senate. But the pull-tab legislation is being given good odds of passage this year in part because of the state’s dire financial condition but also because of the unrelenting pressure of the powerful and generous gambling lobby.
Last year, House Speaker Pat Bauer killed a pull-tab bill after it was revealed that his largest single campaign contributor had put down a $4 million offer to buy bandarqq a share …