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Indiana to Get First Land-Based Casino by End of October
- September 11, 2017 By Oliver Young -
The state of Indiana is to see the doors to its first land-based casino open by the end of the following month, officials from Tropicana Entertainment reveal. The new land-based casino, the Tropicana, will be set next to the Tropicana Evansville Hotel in Evansville on land owned by the company and is to replace Tropicana’s old riverboat casino that has been docked in the city since 1995.
Casino to Open October 20th
According to John Chaszar, GM of Tropicana Evansville, the new casino will be opening its doors by October 20th while the current riverboat casino will officially shut down by October 16th in preparation for the transition. The new location had cost the company an estimated amount of $50 million to develop and would reportedly feature a look more in line with Vegas resorts but also more amenities than the aging riverboat casino. Its location will be right across the street where the riverboat was moored.
The new Tropicana will be the first of Indiana’s riverboat casinos to transition to the shore. The transition was only made possible in 2015 after the General Assembly successfully voted on a milestone bill which allowed water-bound casinos to move onshore but also legalized the employment of live dealers for table games like Blackjack and Poker. The change was prompted by several casino operators who urged the government to adopt a new legislation after suffering decline in revenue due to the competition coming from nearby states.
In a comment to the Associated Press, Chaszar told the media that since the Tropicana was the first casino in the state of Indiana it was appropriate for the company to also be the first to make good use of the newly passed legislation. He added that the opening of the original Tropicana represented a milestone for Evansville and that they are looking forward to a new entertainment era in the city.
Better Taxes for New Casinos
The Tropicana will be subject to House Bill 1350 which was applauded by operators for its fairer taxation provisions. Before the legislation was passed, Indiana casinos needed to pay add-back taxes to the state which operators felt burdened the industry unnecessarily. But under the new solution casinos will not only be relieved of the add-back taxes but also the admission taxes they were formerly obliged to pay.
Namely, instead of paying an admission tax per person in the future casinos will be taxed with a supplemental wagering tax that will be based on the wagered amount at the premises. Back in May, when the law was made official, operators claimed that the new tax regime will help them operate more cost-efficiently but also improve their competitiveness and allow for more investments in their Indiana properties.
Once the new casino starts generating profit, the revenue earned from taxes will be used to stimulate social developments in Indiana. However, while the new bill does mark a new beginning for the casino industry, prospective sportsbetting operators in Indiana still have to wait for the State to legalize their sector.