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Boat Casino – INDIANAPOLIS – Riverboat casinos could eliminate their engines and crews – further distancing them from the state’s original concept of cruise gaming boats – under legislation passed by the Indiana House on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 47, which was approved 58-41, now goes to Governor Mitch Daniels for his signature or veto. It has already passed the Senate.

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The legislation calls for 10 of the state’s 13 casinos to remain afloat, but no longer navigable. Instead, the account allows them to send forever.

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Casinos that make the switch could save up to $1 million a year – money that proponents said could be invested in other projects and equipment.

The bill allows casinos to host card tournaments in hotels, pavilions and convention spaces, instead of only allowing them on gambling grounds.

“The purpose of this bill is to put river hunting communities in a position to benefit from their maximum potential,” said Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Lawrenceburg, who owns three casinos — Hollywood in Dearborn County, Grand Victoria in Ohio County and Belterra. in Switzerland County – in his Home district.

McMillin said the planned casino in Ohio and potential gambling options in Kentucky mean Indiana operations need more flexibility. “It is imperative that we are prepared for the competition,” he said.

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But officials at Horseshoe Southern Indiana in Harrison County said they do not intend to fire the engines or the crew. This is because the boat’s high traffic location on the river means it needs to have the ability to move.

The move may be most popular in southeast Indiana, where casinos are facing competition from Ohio casinos to locate in Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo and Cleveland.

A study last year found that Ohio casinos could divert more than $100 million in gambling tax revenue from Indiana if the state makes no changes to the gambling industry. his casino.

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The state’s 10 casino ships were authorized by a 1993 law that required them to sail alone and aimed to bring economic development to some of Indiana’s poorest areas while attracting gamblers from other states. . . That’s why 10 casinos are located on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan.

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Later, the state accepted a land-based casino in French Lick and allowed state horses in Anderson and Shelbyville to add casino slots.

The original law required casino ships to pass several times a day. In 2002, however, the General Assembly changed the law to allow casinos to remain docked, a move that made gambling more convenient for customers and increased tax revenue.

Then, two years ago, the Indiana Gaming Commission changed its rules to allow new casinos to be built more like buildings than ships. The newest gambling places in Lawrenceburg and Hammond are built under these new rules and, although they have engines and crews, they are essentially barges.

Two area lawmakers – Reps. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, and Matt Ubelhor, R-Linton – voted against SB 47 on Tuesday.

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Clere said the General Assembly moved the casinos from ships to land-based operations without much discussion about whether this is a good idea or not and, if it is, whether the Casinos are okay or not.

There are no casinos in Clark and Floyd counties, where voters initially rejected the idea in referendums. Later – after all 10 rivers were licensed and the casinos opened – Clark County officials held another referendum on the matter.

“We see all the signs of increased competition,” Clere said. “It is our responsibility as legislators to make gaming policy for the long term and for twenty years we have made gaming policy in a reactive and ad hoc way.” Dave Cheatham, D-North Vernon; Steve Davisson, R-Salem; Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville; Rhonda Rhoads, R-Corydon; and Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, voted for the bill. It was not the most favorable start for the ship Jacks or Better Casino. On April 15, just a week after its maiden voyage, the 155-foot yacht—which, conditions permitting, makes daily trips from Galveston to federal waters where the games a legal gamble is scrapped against a marker, causing approximately $40,000 in cosmetic damage and knocking the ship out of commission for weeks.

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We took a tour of the Jacks on May 5th, the day he started working again. Captain Dave Kendrick, who has been a licensed captain since 1997, gave us a tour of the bridge, the room where he runs the ship.

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“I was the captain during the incident,” he said, addressing the incident in his matter-of-fact manner. “It’s the first time it’s ever happened in my career. We came in at 11:20 p.m., and I lost my vision and the markers were shaking. When I realized what was happening, it was too late… Nope there is no good excuse for this, but these things happen, and I am grateful that no one was hurt”.

The incident certainly didn’t deter the 60 passengers who paid $15 a pop to board the beautiful ship the day we left. They looked like your typical casino crowd, meaning most were Baby Boomers or older, many wore Crocs, and smoked more cigarettes than not.

We wandered to the upper deck of the ship from the bridge. It was a beautiful sunny day. The boat glided past the shrimpers dropping their nets and the container ships heading to port. Seagulls and pelicans followed behind us, hoping to catch an early meal.

Although it was a beautiful scene, some took it. Instead, they were inside, already claiming their seats on the mostly windowless playing floor, ready to play.

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Each of the Jacks’ trips to the Gulf of Mexico is seven hours long—an hour and a half each nine-mile trip in federal waters, plus four hours of gambling—and the – the best days out, especially for those prone to seasickness, are when the water is nice and calm. The ship offers two floors of colorful Vegas-style slot machines and card tables where up to 150 passengers can play games such as blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat (pending Coast Guard approval, capacity may increases to 300).

“I’m excited to try this,” a woman who also enjoys the look, Kim Walden, told us. Walden has a beach house in Galveston and, he confessed, likes to play. She and her husband not only frequent commercial cruise lines (all of which have casinos), but regularly travel to the Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas Native American reservations. He was excited, he said, to try something closer to home. “It’s great to finally have something practically in our backyard.”

Due to outdated Bible Belt policies, gambling in Texas is illegal, with the exception of lotteries, horse and greyhound racing, reservation casinos, and casino ships like Jacks or Better, which offer one-day gambling tours without the need to meet. an old requirement of the first visit to a foreign port. These boats served all the cities along the coast of the state, including Galveston, since they were legalized in 1989, but before the arrival of the Jacks, the city of Oleander went without them for a few years.

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We went inside, and finally, the moment arrived. The captain announced that we were in federal waters and that the tables were open. Suddenly, a symphony of dings, pings and slot machine tunes filled the air.

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As we watched the action, we thought of a point Henry had made while speaking inside the bridge. “A lot of people are traveling to Louisiana to play,” he said. “Why don’t we keep this money in Texas?” The Diamond Lady, a once majestic riverboat, rests with smaller boats in the mud at Martin Luther King Jr.’s Riverside Park Marina. Riverside Park along the Mississippi River on October 19, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. . (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Record low water levels in the Mississippi River discovered a number of rarities. The last one? The nation’s first riverboat casino sank during a storm last year.

The Diamond Lady, America’s first river casino, set sail in 1991 and operated for a few years before being replaced by a larger riverboat. Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White reportedly rigged the paddle wheel boat before her maiden voyage left in Bettendorf, Iowa 31 years ago.

It had been stored on the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, since 2008, but the Diamond Lady sank in 2021 during a winter freeze, according to WPSD. It was not seen again until the Mississippi River receded to its lowest level in 10 years.

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The drought brought the Mississippi River to historic lows, affecting agricultural exports. The crisis has increased shipping costs, and this cost can fall on consumers and create problems for barges.

According to the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, water levels are at or below low water along a nearly 400-mile stretch of the river from near where the Ohio River meets along the Mississippi River south to near Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Also in Memphis, history and remains collector Riley Bryant made a fascinating discovery on the banks of the drought-stricken Mississippi River.

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Bryant said the artifacts — a Civil War-era Union Army cartridge case with bullets — were just sitting there among the rocks under the I-55 bridge waiting to be picked up.

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