A tavern owners’ trade group in Indiana is making a bid this year to legalize slots and poker machines at bars, restaurants and fraternal organization lodges.
A study conducted for the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association in 2003 showed that allowing slot machine games and poker machines at 3,500 locations could potentially translate to $300 million in annual taxes for the state and local governments.
The legislation is being supported by Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, and Senator Bob Meeks, a LaGrange Republican. Meeks has also long been in support of this legalization.
While the bid to legalize slots and poker machines at said establishments may be questioned by lawmakers in terms of necessity, its supporters believe that their stand will be supported by the fact that the crackdown by the Indiana Excise Police has failed to eliminate illegal gambling in the state. At the moment, there are still reportedly a large number of illegal gambling machines in Indiana.
“There’s a growing awareness that the crackdown … has really had a boomerang effect, an unintended consequence,” said David Long, the Republican Senate President Pro Tem from Fort Wayne.
“These things are popping up everywhere. I don’t think we can ignore this growing problem with illegal gambling any longer,” added Long. He further claims that the state can only try to eliminate the illegal machines or legalize them, but doing nothing is absolutely unacceptable.