Decision will affect casino goers

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Forget about local bingo and Texas Hold 'em tournaments. Heading to the state's casinos with an organized group is going to cost less.

State gaming regulators have approved a rule change that could bring more high-rollers to Indiana casinos on group trips that often include free meals or rooms for gamblers.

The new rule makes business cheaper and easier for "junketeers," firms that organize casino trips and are generally paid based on how much their customers gamble or are expected to gamble.

In the past these firms had to be licensed casino suppliers and paid a $5,000 fee. Under the rule change companies will register with the state and pay a fee of $250 for the business, plus $75 for each individual junketeer.

Because casinos are becoming more destination resort-style facilities, the gaming commission wants to see more people from out of state visit the facilities. The goal is to help the casinos generate more revenue from high-level players.

It is expected to bring as much as $20 million in additional annual gambling revenues to the state's 13 casinos, including new facilities at the state's two horse racing tracks in Anderson and Shelbyville.

The change is already in effect through an emergency rule, and the commission plans to make it permanent after a July 29 public hearing. No opposition is expected.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: