INDIANAPOLIS - A plan to allow slots at the state's two horse tracks passed the Senate March 29, by a vote of 27-21.
House Bill 1835 would allow 1,500 slot machines at Hoosier Park in Madison County and Indiana Downs in Shelby County. In exchange, the tracks would have to pay a $400 million license fee and taxes on their annual revenue.
The House has already approved a version of the bill, though it called for more slots at each track and a license fee of $100 million. Members in that chamber can accept the changes made by the Senate or the issue will go to a conference committee that will try to iron out the differences.
The debate in the Senate centered largely on whether the extra revenue the state would receive was worth expanding gambling.
Gov. Mitch Daniels has not said whether he would veto the slots bill if it reaches his desk. He has said in the past he is opposed to the expansion of gambling but has not said whether he considers this an expansion.
The Senate bill also requires the county councils in Madison and Shelby counties to approve the "racinos" before slots can be installed there.