The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

October 29, 2009

Daniels has doubts about Fort Wayne casino

Referendum on gambling in northeastern Indiana proposed

PENDLETON­ — A casino in Fort Wayne seems like a long shot, Gov. Mitch Daniels said Wednesday.

A referendum on whether voters favor gambling has been proposed in the northeastern Indiana city. But Daniels said “I don’t think you’re going to see that sort of thing in Fort Wayne.”

Hoosier Park Racing and Casino officials have suggested that a casino in Fort Wayne could have a crippling impact on the Anderson facility. Officials have said that the Fort Wayne market accounts for about 30 percent of business at Hoosier Park.

Daniels said that revenue from gaming — the Hoosier Lottery, pari-mutuel wagering and casinos combined — raises only about 7 cents of every dollar collected by the state. Still, in tough economic times, he said that neighboring states such as Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio are considering expanding casino gambling.

But even if a referendum were held in Fort Wayne, it would be one of many steps that would be needed for another casino in the state. It would also take an act of the legislature and raising money for such an enterprise when credit is tight.

“I don’t think there’s much interest in the General Assembly,” Daniels said.

“I think we’ve gone about as far as we ought to go,” in expanding gambling in Indiana, he said. “At some point you reach a point of saturation.”

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250,

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