(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

As Indiana casinos reopen, they’re implementing sanitization and distancing standards at gaming sites, but some workers say one important virus-prevention strategy is being left out: access to affordable health insurance.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

It will likely be weeks before Indiana casinos are allowed to reopen as the state moves forward with its plans for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.

Heather Ainsworth/AP Photo/File

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's gambling revenue plunged in March after the state banned large gatherings to stem the spread of the coronavirus, forcing the closure of casinos and the cancellation of major sporting events.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports the state received about $29 million in gambling tax revenue last month, a drop of 52% from roughly $60 million in February.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Workers from Indiana’s Caesars casinos rallied for higher wages and better health plans on Thursday in Shelbyville. Employees from the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Caesars Southern Indiana Casino came together ahead of contract negotiations.

Company Planning New Indiana Casino Faces Investigation

Jan 24, 2020
Brandon Smith/IPB News/FIle

The Indiana Gaming Commission has called off a meeting during which it was expected to grant the license for a new Terre Haute casino after a political consultant pleaded guilty to federal charges of illegally funneling campaign contributions for an Indianapolis-based gaming company.

The commission said Friday it was investigating information it received Thursday about Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment and canceled the Feb. 7 meeting that was set in Vigo County.  

Voters Deciding Indiana Mayoral Races, Fate Of New Casino

Nov 5, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Voters across Indiana are casting the final ballots to decide who will fill dozens of mayoral offices, with Republicans and Democrats wrapping up competitive campaigns in several cities.

Both parties have made big pushes for Tuesday's local election in Fort Wayne, where Democratic Mayor Tom Henry is seeking a fourth term leading the state's second-largest city against Republican business executive Tim Smith.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Indiana Gaming Commission is now accepting proposals for a new Vigo County casino.

That comes as the commission Wednesday approved a Gary casino’s move inland – a move which opens the door to a gaming venue in Terre Haute.

Gaming Commission executive director Sara Tait says casino operators have until Dec. 1 to submit proposals for the Vigo County facility.

Hotel Trump Opened In Indiana In 1998 Is Shut Down

Jul 15, 2019
Stephen J. Carrera/AP Photo

GARY, Ind. (AP) — A 300-room hotel built opened by Donald Trump's casino company in 1998 to help draw gamblers to a northwestern Indiana casino has been shut down.

The June 30 closure came as the current owner of the Majestic Star Casino in Gary is working to move it from along Lake Michigan to a location along the busy Interstate 80-94 in the city.

Spectacle Entertainment vice president Jahnae Erpenbach says that the hotel had declining occupancy and making needed renovations didn't make sense with the upcoming casino move.

Woman Convicted Of Leaving Dogs In Car At Dowagiac Casino

Jun 30, 2019

DOWAGIAC, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan woman will serve two years' probation in the death of two dogs and severe injuries to a third left in a vehicle for hours outside a casino in southwestern Michigan.

50-year-old Sherill Langford was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors have said the dogs were left in the vehicle in April outside Four Winds Casino in Dowagiac.

A third dog had to be treated for severe dehydration.

A link to the court documents in the case is below:

Lawmakers wrapped up the 2019 legislative session with passage of a new, two-year state budget and a major gambling bill. But a vaping tax couldn’t make it to the finish line.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Brandon Smith

Lawmakers approved what one legislator called a “monumental shift” to Indiana’s gambling industry before the 2019 session ended Wednesday.

Major Gambling Bill Nears Its Final Form

Apr 22, 2019
Brandon Smith

Lawmakers are nearing the ultimate version of this session’s major gambling bill.

Indiana House Speaker Has Deal Arranged By Casino Investor

Apr 18, 2019
Brandon Smith/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The leader of the Indiana House is skipping votes on a major gambling-related bill after a casino investor arranged a local government contract for his law firm. The Indianapolis Star reports Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma is working for a Vigo County board that's backing a bill allowing a proposed Terre Haute casino. Bosma was first contacted about the work by an investor in the company seeking to move a Gary casino license to Terre Haute.

The session’s gaming bill passed the House Monday. But many supporters say they want a number of changes to the final version of the bill.

Senate Republicans released their budget proposal, with more money for schools over the next two years. Gaming legislation went through major changes. And an expansion of the state’s Stand Your Ground law is headed back to the House.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

House Amends Gaming Bill, Seeks Transparency

Apr 11, 2019

After substantial changes were made to this session’s gaming bill, an amendment was added Thursday to increase transparency. It was in response to a report that Gov. Eric Holcomb had met privately with the Gary casino’s CEO.

DOWAGIAC, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say two dogs died and another was treated for severe dehydration after a woman left them in a vehicle for hours outside a casino in southwestern Michigan.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana House panel is set to take up a bill that would allow one of Gary's casinos to move to Terre Haute.

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the bill, which cleared the Senate in February before being revamped by the House Public Policy Committee.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A newspaper reports that a casino magnate treated Gov. Eric Holcomb to two private jet flights last year and made big donations to Holcomb's 2016 campaign while he was pushing for changes to Indiana law that would benefit his business.

The Indianapolis Star reports Spectacle Entertainment's CEO and chairman, Rod Ratcliff, flew Holcomb to Colorado and Arizona meetings hosted by the Republican Governors Association.

Gaming Bill Gets Hours Of Testimony In House Committee

Mar 20, 2019
Lauren Chapman

A House committee took hours of testimony Wednesday on a bill that makes major changes to Indiana’s gaming industry.

An amendment to the gaming bill would eliminate some of the money local communities receive from casinos.

A legislative study committee recommends permitting riverboats to move on land and installing table games with live dealers at racinos.