Page 54: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 1994)
RIVERBOAT GAMING LEGISLATION legislators Help To Keep Gaming Wheels liirning
The legislative wheels keep on churning in the states which have already legal-ized—and the ones which are close to legalizing—riverboat gaming. Keeping abreast of the latest legislative happenings is key to capturing a valuable market first.
The Transportation Institute of
Camp Springs, Md. publishes the "Guide to Riverboat and Shipboard
Gaming Legislation," a publication geared to keep all interested par- ties abreast of the latest legislative happenings. The following are ex- cerpts from the latest report. For information on receiving the study on a regular basis, contact: The
Transportation Institute, Larry
Evans, 5201 Auth Way, Camp
Springs, Md. 20746; tel: (301) 423- 3335 or (202) 347-2590; fax: (301) 423-0634.
H.B. 240, introduced in 1993, carries over to the 1994 session.
While the intent of the bill is to legalize gaming aboard ferries, its purpose is to enhance the revenue of the ferry system in order to alle- viate the subsidy it receives. H.B. 240 was the first gaming bill to be introduced since 1990.
On November 2, 1993, nine coun- ties and two cities held referenda on the question of allowing riverboat gaming. Voters in Vanderburgh,
LaPorte, Ohio, Dearborn and Swit- zerland counties approved riverboat gaming; voters in Porter, Clark,
Floyd and Warrick counties did not (and must wait two years to hold another vote). Riverboat gaming was also approved by voters in the cities of Hammond and East Chi- cago in Lake County. Voters in Gary in Lake County approved riverboat gaming two years ago.
As of January 6,1994, there were a total of 25 applications pending for riverboat gaming licenses for the cities and counties that have ap- proved riverboat gaming: six for
Evansville in Vanderburgh County, three for Michigan City in LaPorte
County, one for Rising Sun in Ohio
County, two for Lawrenceburg in
Dearborn County, one for Vevay in
Switzerland County, three for
Hammond in Lake County, one for
East Chicago in Lake County and eight for Gary in Lake County.
The Indiana Gaming Commission has its offices in Government Center
South, located at 302 West Washing- ton St. in Indianapolis. Alan
Klineman is the commission chair- man, Ann Marie Bochnowski is the vice chairman, and members include Dr. David Ross, Donald
Vowels, Robert Sundwick, Bob
Thar is the executive director.
In Iowa, the Sioux City Sue was sold by Sioux City Riverboat Corp. to Gamma Intl. of New Jersey, a move considered inevitable because of the restrictions in Iowa's gaming laws which put the state at a com- petitive disadvantage with sur- rounding states. Gamma hopes to use the vessel in Sugar Creek, Mo., pending obtaining a riverboat gam- ing license for the jurisdiction. Three communities, including Council
Bluffs, which is on the Missouri river across from Omaha, Neb., as well as Marquette and McGregor have expressed an interest in riverboat gaming.
The Mississippi Belle II was sold to Southeast Iowa, and the boat will be renamed Catfish Bend Riverboat
Casino and will sail out of Ft. Madi- son and Burlington, hopefully no later than September 1,1994. South- east Iowa has been without a gam- ing boat since July 1992 when the
Emerald Lady departed to Biloxi,
Miss. Robert's River Ride, the cur- rent owner of the Mississippi Belle
II, will replace the boat in Clinton with a larger boat that is being built by Houma Fabricators. Meanwhile, the Dubuque Diamond Jo Casino, a conversion, is located at Dubuque's
Third Street Ice Harbor, and is ex- pected to start operation this month.
The H-class vessel at press time had yet to be inspected by the U.S. Coast
Guard (USCG) to determine pas- senger and crew capacity.
Five riverboat gaming licenses have been issued in Louisiana to date, to the Star Casino, Inc. (a partnership between Louie
Roussel III and Showboat, Inc.), to
Players Lake Charles Casino, to
Queen of New Orleans (a partner- ship between Hilton and New Or- leans Paddlewheels, Inc.), to
Caesar's on the River, and to Loui- siana Riverboat Gaming Partner- ship for Bossier City. The state's first gamingvessel, the Guido Perla- designedStar Casino, opened to the public on November 8 (see MR/EN
December 1993) and the Players II opened on December 8.
The Trinity Marine-built Queen of New Orleans is scheduled to open
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