List of casinos in Indiana

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List of casinos in Indiana is located in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
List of casinos in Indiana
Locations of casinos in Indiana
Blue pog.svgRiverboat Green pog.svgLand-based Red pog.svgRacino

Indiana law authorizes ten riverboat casinos on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River, one land-based casino in French Lick, and racinos at the state's two horse tracks.

List of casinos[edit]

AmeristarEast ChicagoLakeIndianaLake MichiganRiverboatformerly Resorts, Harrahs, and Showboat Mardi Gras
Belterra CasinoFlorenceSwitzerlandIndianaOhio RiverRiverboat
Blue Chip CasinoMichigan CityLaPorteIndianaLake MichiganRiverboat
French Lick Resort CasinoFrench LickOrangeIndianaLand-based
Hollywood Casino LawrenceburgLawrenceburgDearbornIndianaOhio RiverRiverboat
Hoosier ParkAndersonMadisonIndianaRacino
Horseshoe Southern IndianaElizabethHarrisonIndianaOhio RiverRiverboatformerly Caesars
Horseshoe CasinoHammondLakeIndianaLake MichiganRiverboatformerly Empress
Indiana Grand CasinoShelbyvilleShelbyIndianaRacino
Majestic StarGaryLakeIndianaLake MichiganRiverboat
Majestic Star IIGaryLakeIndianaLake MichiganRiverboatFormerly Trump Indiana
Rising Star Casino ResortRising SunOhioIndianaOhio RiverRiverboat
Tropicana EvansvilleEvansvilleVanderburghIndianaOhio RiverRiverboatformerly Casino Aztar


Casino legalization efforts[edit]

The Indiana Constitution of 1851 included a ban on lotteries,[1] which was broadly construed by courts as a prohibition on gambling in general.[2] In 1988, state voters approved a constitutional amendment lifting the lottery ban.[3] Critics said the measure would lead to casino gambling,[4] while legislators said there would be little support for casinos.[5]

Within months of the amendment's passage, Gary mayor Thomas Barnes proposed opening up the economically depressed city to high-rise resort casinos.[6][7] The Indiana General Assembly rejected a Gary casino bill in 1989,[8] but did assent to a non-binding referendum,[9] which city voters approved by 60 percent.[10] The city began talks to acquire 350 acres of land at the Gary Works for as many as five casinos.[11]

Gaming companies from Nevada and Atlantic City flocked to join in lobbying efforts to support a second attempt in the 1990 legislative session,[12] but it was blocked by Senate Republican leaders.[13][14] In the 1991 session, state Rep. Charlie Brown of Gary introduced an expanded bill authorizing riverboat casinos on the Ohio River and a casino in the resort area of French Lick and West Baden Springs, to attract broader support.[15] The mayor of Hammond floated the idea of converting the SS Clipper into a casino,[16] but it was not included in the bill. The proposal passed the House but was rejected by a Senate committee.[17][18]

Brown introduced a Gary casino bill in the 1992 session, but it drew little support due to legislators' aversion to controversy in an election year.[19] Southern Indiana legislators introduced a bill to allow riverboat casinos on the Ohio River, which passed the House,[20] and was then expanded, with support from Gary lawmakers, to include boats on Lake Michigan,[21] which were seen as less controversial than land-based casinos.[22] The bill was rejected by the Senate.[23]

With new backing from Republican entrepreneur Dean White,[24] Brown reintroduced his bill in the 1993 session, with land-based casinos in Gary and French Lick, and riverboats on the Ohio River, and it passed the House,[25] but was again voted down in Senate committee.[26] A measure was introduced later in the session to allow four riverboats each on Lake Michigan and the Ohio, but it was killed by Senate leaders.[27]

Because it failed to approve a budget,[28] the Assembly convened for a special session in June 1993.[29] After weeks of wrangling, a compromise was reached on a Republican budget with no tax increases, with a few side issues to appease Democrats, including authorization of riverboat casinos.[30] The law allowed up to five sites on the shore of Lake Michigan (including two in Gary), five on the Ohio River, and one on Patoka Lake, near French Lick.[31] Casinos were expected to raise at least $100 million in taxes per year.[31]

Licensing and construction[edit]

The first round of gaming license applications in September 1993 attracted 27 proposals for sites in 12 cities.[32] Local referendums, required to authorize casinos in each city or county (except Gary),[33] were held in November; voters in Clark, Floyd, Porter, and Warrick counties rejected casinos, while voters in Hammond and East Chicago and in Dearborn, LaPorte, Ohio, Switzerland, and Vanderburgh counties approved them.[34]

February 2, 1994 was the application deadline for licenses in the communities where referendums had passed; by that day, the number of applications had risen to 50.[35] Officials in some cities conducted extensive hearings to decide which applicants to endorse, though the final decisions were in the hands of the Gaming Commission. City leaders examined 25 proposals in Gary,[36] 6 in Evansville,[37] and 8 in Lawrenceburg.[38]

After the Porter County referendum failed, several businessmen from Portage had sued the state, arguing that the riverboat law violated the state constitution's ban on special treatment for particular cities, because it called for citywide votes in Hammond and East Chicago, but countywide votes in all other localities.[39] A judge agreed with them in May 1994, enjoining the Gaming Commission from issuing licenses.[40] The Indiana Supreme Court overturned that ruling six months later,[41] but some developers had already withdrawn their proposals because of the stalled process.[42]

Four more local referendums were held in 1994, with Crawford, Harrison, and Perry counties approving casinos, and Jefferson County rejecting them.[43][44]

The Gaming Commission issued its first preliminary licenses, for the two boats in Gary, in December 1994. One went to Donald Trump's company, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, and the other went to a joint venture between Detroit businessman Don Barden and President Casinos.[45] The commission next visited Evansville, awarding a license to Aztar Corp. in February 1995,[46] and then southeast Indiana in July, where it selected a Hyatt-affiliated project in Rising Sun and a group led by Argosy Gaming and Conseco to build a casino in Lawrenceburg.[47] In Hammond, the panel gave the nod in November to Empress River Casino, operator of two riverboats in Joliet, Illinois.[48]

Development of the Gary boats was delayed by disputes over the acquisition of land at Buffington Harbor and the withdrawal of President Casinos from its partnership with Barden.[49] As a result, Casino Aztar Evansville was the first riverboat to open, on December 7, 1995.[50]

The Gaming Commission continued its work in 1996, approving in January the only applicant for the East Chicago license, a group led by Showboat, Inc.,[51] a Michigan City casino in April, to be built by the operator of an East Dubuque, Illinois riverboat,[52] and in May, a Caesars World casino in Harrison County.[53]

The two Gary riverboats, Trump Casino and Barden's Majestic Star, opened on June 11, 1996,[54] and the Empress Casino in Hammond followed weeks later.[55] They were initially prevented from leaving dock by the Johnson Act, a federal law prohibiting gambling on U.S. territorial waters such as the Great Lakes.[56] The boats ran "phantom cruises", allowing gamblers to board only at scheduled cruise times.[56] Congress amended the Johnson Act in October, allowing the boats to cruise as required by Indiana law.[56]

With three Ohio River casinos set to open, the Gaming Commission postponed a decision on granting the fifth Ohio River license to Crawford or Switzerland County, deciding to wait to observe the results of the other casinos.[57] Hyatt opened its Grand Victoria II casino in Rising Sun in October 1996,[58] and the Argosy Casino in nearby Lawrenceburg followed in December.[59] The Caesars project, meanwhile, was continually delayed by environmental concerns and archaeological work.[60][61]

Michigan City's Blue Chip Casino, moored in a channel of Trail Creek where it was built on-site,[62] opened in August 1997.[63]

By May 1998, the two Cincinnati-area casinos were reporting strong results, so the commission decided to lift its unofficial moratorium on issuing a fifth license.[64] Casino America, the sole applicant for Crawford County, dropped its bid,[65] leaving just one proposal for the commission to consider, a joint venture of Hollywood Park and Boomtown in Vevay, which it approved in September.[66]

Caesars Indiana finally opened in November 1998.[67] After being delayed by damage from a mid-river collision en route to Vevay,[68] the Belterra Casino opened in October 2000.[69]

Later developments[edit]

The Patoka Lake license went unused because the Army Corps of Engineers, which claims ownership of the reservoir,[70] had a regulation against gambling on its property.[71] Legislators in 2003 authorized an eleventh casino to instead be built in a man-made lake in the area of French Lick and West Baden Springs.[72] The casino's conversion to a land-based facility was retroactively authorized in 2010.[73]

A law passed in 2007 allowed the state's two racetracks, Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs, to install up to 2,000 slot machines each.[74]

Proposed Indian casinos[edit]

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, a tribe historically located in the St. Joseph River Valley of northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan, regained federal recognition in 1994,[75] and its members soon voted to pursue casino gaming as an economic development measure.[76] Discussions focused on sites in Michigan because state officials were more friendly to tribal gaming than those in Indiana, and the tribe had deeper ties to the state.[77] A site in New Buffalo, Michigan, near the Indiana border, was selected in May 1996,[78] but reports that the tribe was considering a casino in South Bend or Elkhart continued to surface.[79][80] By 2001, the tribe said it had no plans for a casino in Indiana.[81] After years of legal battles,[82] the tribe's Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo opened in 2007.[83] The tribe announced new plans in 2012 for a 164-acre "tribal village" in South Bend, including a casino.[84]


  1. ^ Howard, Timothy Edward (1907). A History of St. Joseph County, Indiana. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 98. 
  2. ^ Taxation of Set Aside Amounts under Slot Machine Wagering Tax Law (Report). Indiana Office of the Attorney General. March 7, 2012. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  3. ^ "Voters lift state curb on lottery". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). November 9, 1988.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Grass, James (May 4, 1988). "One of the hottest issues voters will face in November is deceptively simple: Should the Indiana Constitution be amended to remove the language that prohibits lotteries?". USA Today (via NewsBank). Gannett.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ Isidore, Chris (November 4, 1988). "No sure thing in lottery vote". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Parishand, Norman; Winkley, Nancy J. (January 12, 1989). "Gary mayor touts casinos". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  7. ^ Goering, Laurie (January 26, 1989). "Gary mayor putting bet on casinos". Chicago Tribune (via ProQuest).  (subscription required)
  8. ^ Strong, Audra D. (March 8, 1989). "Despite defeat, Gary to push casino fight". Chicago Tribune (via ProQuest).  (subscription required)
  9. ^ Winkley, Nancy J. (April 27, 1989). "Gary casino referendum clears both chambers, heads to Bayh". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Battle in Indiana looms on gambling". New York Times. AP. November 7, 1989. 
  11. ^ Koziol, Ronald (December 5, 1989). "Gary near deal with U.S. Steel on lakefront site for casinos". Chicago Tribune (via ProQuest).  (subscription required)
  12. ^ Koziol, Ronald (December 9, 1989). "Trump hints he's player in Gary casinos". Chicago Tribune (via ProQuest).  (subscription required)
  13. ^ Winkley, Nancy J. (February 27, 1990). "Casino effort dead for session; bill not called to Senate floor". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  14. ^ Winkley, Nancy J. (March 13, 1990). "Casino issue dead for 1990". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  15. ^ Winkley, Nancy J. (January 29, 1991). "Downstate areas included in casino bill". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Clipper could become floating casino". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). October 19, 1990.  (subscription required)
  17. ^ Winkley, Nancy J. (April 4, 1991). "Senate committee defeats legalized casino gambling". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  18. ^ Winkley, Nancy J. (May 6, 1991). "Many local bills faded, fell". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  19. ^ "Casino effort seems to be over". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). January 14, 1992. 
  20. ^ "Riverboat bill floats through Ind. House". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). January 28, 1992.  (subscription required)
  21. ^ "Riverboat bid gets backing". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). January 30, 1992.  (subscription required)
  22. ^ "New casino push: Legislators know odds are long". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). December 9, 1991.  (subscription required)
  23. ^ "Senate pulls plug on riverboat gambling". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). February 5, 1992.  (subscription required)
  24. ^ "Gary gets last roll of dice for casinos". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). January 3, 1993.  (subscription required)
  25. ^ "Casino passage marked by last-minute lobbying". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). March 5, 1993.  (subscription required)
  26. ^ "GOP to Northwest Indiana: No dice!". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). March 24, 1993.  (subscription required)
  27. ^ "Riverboat bill torpedoed in Senate battle". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). April 24, 1993.  (subscription required)
  28. ^ "Split happens: lawmakers must meet again". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). May 2, 1993.  (subscription required)
  29. ^ "Legislators start OT session". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). June 9, 1993.  (subscription required)
  30. ^ "Lawmakers reach budget compromise". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). June 30, 1993.  (subscription required)
  31. ^ a b Simpson, Cam (July 1, 1993). "Riverboats shoot for early '94". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  32. ^ Ellis, John (September 19, 1993). "Industrious proposals". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  33. ^ "Casino referendums face tough deadlines". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). AP. July 22, 1993.  (subscription required)
  34. ^ "No one files to recount casino votes". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank). AP. November 10, 1993.  (subscription required)
  35. ^ Simpson, Cam (February 3, 1994). "Indiana popular with casino operators". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  36. ^ Ellis, John; Brown, Susan (November 19, 1993). "Barnes pares down choices". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  37. ^ Husk, Kim (March 7, 1994). "Riverboat panel running tight ship". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  38. ^ Bolton, Douglas (February 28, 1994). "City weighs gaming proposals". Cincinnati Post (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  39. ^ "Portage businessmen seek to stall gambling". The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank). AP. January 5, 1994.  (subscription required)
  40. ^ "Boats rocked". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). May 20, 1994.  (subscription required)
  41. ^ Simpson, Cam (November 22, 1994). "Riverboat law survives ruling". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  42. ^ Henterly, Meghan (November 8, 1994). "Gambling delay costs Indiana". USA Today (via NewsBank). Gannett.  (subscription required)
  43. ^ Simpson, Cam (May 4, 1994). "Crawford County votes for casinos". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  44. ^ Rohrig, Byron (November 10, 1994). "Perry County OKs casino". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  45. ^ James, Rich (December 10, 1994). "It's Trump, Barden: Firms pledge about $300M in waterfront development". The Post-Tribune (Gary).  (subscription required)
  46. ^ Andrews, Greg (February 12, 1995). "Opening state's first casino would give Aztar edge". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  47. ^ "Rising Sun, Lawrenceburg casinos OK'd". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank). AP. July 1, 1995.  (subscription required)
  48. ^ James, Rich (November 18, 1995). "Charters will drop anchor in Hammond". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  49. ^ James, Rich (July 1, 1995). "Deal ordered: Boats could float in spring". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  50. ^ Barker, Tim D. (December 8, 1995). "Riverboat off and running". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  51. ^ Wyman, Thomas P. (January 9, 1996). "Politics played part in E. Chicago casino, riverboat foes claim". The Journal-Gazette (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank). AP.  (subscription required)
  52. ^ Wyman, Thomas P. (April 18, 1996). "A new casino to sail". The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank). AP.  (subscription required)
  53. ^ Sachdev, Ameet; Estep, Bill (May 22, 1996). "Churchill Downs looking over shoulder at riverboat". Lexington Herald-Leader (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  54. ^ Campbell, Michelle (June 12, 1996). "Casinos' opening day lures thousands to Gary". Chicago Sun-Times (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  55. ^ "Empress Casino open for business". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). June 29, 1996.  (subscription required)
  56. ^ a b c "Clinton signs bill allowing riverboats to cruise on Lake Michigan". Associated Press Political Service (via Factiva). October 23, 1996.  (subscription required)
  57. ^ Sword, Doug (September 7, 1996). "Decision on final riverboat casino postponed". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  58. ^ Petrie, Laurie (October 4, 1996). "Rising Sun rolls the dice; casino opens". Cincinnati Post (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  59. ^ "Argosy license OK'd". Cincinnati Post (via NewsBank). December 13, 1996.  (subscription required)
  60. ^ "Louisville casino faces more delays". Lexington Herald-Leader (via NewsBank). AP. January 6, 1997.  (subscription required)
  61. ^ "Caesars' casino riverboat hits snags". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank). AP. May 4, 1998.  (subscription required)
  62. ^ "Blue Chip Casino set to sail channel in state's northeast". The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank). AP. July 15, 1997.  (subscription required)
  63. ^ Carlson, Carole (August 23, 1997). "New NWI casino boat afloat". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  64. ^ "Riverboat license moratorium reconsidered by commission". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). AP. May 8, 1998.  (subscription required)
  65. ^ "County loses only applicant for riverboat". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). AP. August 13, 1998.  (subscription required)
  66. ^ Horstman, Barry M. (September 15, 1998). "Switzerland County lands casino". Cincinnati Post (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  67. ^ Prichard, James (November 22, 1998). "Let the games begin". Lexington Herald-Leader (via NewsBank). AP.  (subscription required)
  68. ^ Horstman, Barry M. (August 10, 2000). "Accident delays casino opening". Cincinnati Post (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  69. ^ Batz, Bob (November 5, 2000). "Viva, Las Vevay! Sleepy river town gets a dose of casino caffeine". Dayton Daily News (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  70. ^ "Corps opposes Patoka casino". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via HighBeam). August 15, 1993.  (subscription required)
  71. ^ Raithel, Tom (March 4, 1994). "Patoka Lake casino backers still hopeful: Deadline today, but no one applies". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  72. ^ Whitson, Jennifer (April 30, 2003). "Orange County to vote on gambling operation: French Lick casino bill signed". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  73. ^ "House Bill 1276 (2010)". Indiana General Assembly. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  74. ^ Smith, Mike (May 12, 2007). "Bills get Daniels' signature - Parties laud compromises for budget, education, taxes". The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  75. ^ Simpson, Cam; Sword, Doug (October 18, 1994). "Tribe's recognition turns into gaming issue in Indiana". Evansville Courier (via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  76. ^ Brown, Susan (November 13, 1994). "Pokagons vote to pursue casinos". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). AP.  (subscription required)
  77. ^ "Michigan better poised for Pokagon Band casino". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). AP. December 13, 1994.  (subscription required)
  78. ^ Campbell, Laurel (May 4, 1996). "Harrah's may run Potawatomi casino". Commercial Appeal (Memphis: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  79. ^ "O'Bannon would talk with tribe on casino". The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank). AP. February 7, 1997.  (subscription required)
  80. ^ "Pokagons' game plan generates opposition". The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne: via NewsBank). AP. June 4, 1997.  (subscription required)
  81. ^ "Pokagon deny plans for N. Indiana casino". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank). AP. May 25, 2001.  (subscription required)
  82. ^ Maddux, Stan (June 4, 2006). "Casino blessing: Pokagon tribe breaks ground on long-awaited Michigan gaming resort". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  83. ^ Braff, Danielle (August 3, 2007). "'I'm coming back': Gamblers like the slots, day care, other amenities". The Post-Tribune (Gary: via NewsBank).  (subscription required)
  84. ^ "Pokagon tribe proposes casino in South Bend". Post-Tribune (Gary). AP. August 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-09.