SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Bars urging lawmakers to legalize video gambling to help with revenue losses amid the pandemic

According to the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association, more than 900 of Indiana's bars signed a petition asking the Indiana general assembly to pass legislation that would allow video gaming inside their establishments.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 12:14 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- According to the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association, more than 900 of Indiana's bars signed a petition asking the Indiana general assembly to pass legislation that would allow video gaming inside their establishments. The legalization is something bar owners say is needed to make up lost revenue due to the pandemic.

"There is a lot of people that just won't come out because of COVID and it's been rough," said Stan Balser the owner of Ben Hur Tavern in Lafayette. 

That message has been echoed by bar and restaurant owners across the state of Indiana. According to the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association, the legalization of video gambling could create 100 million dollars in revenue in one year. 

"Many states around us already have it," said Chris Thielen the co-owner of Rookies Sports Pub in Lafayette. " We need this, especially during COVID. It's one more source of income that helps small businesses and especially the serving industry get through."

Chris Thielen and his business partner own multiple bars and restaurant establishments in the Lafayette area, he says this petition is a cry for help.

"Most of us need this," added Thielen.  "We either need to get through this or we need to find other ways for everyone and their families to sustain an income."

Governor Eric Holcomb says he isn't opposed to the idea.

"I'd want to see the bill I'd want to see the language I'd want to see all the ramifications," said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

He feels passing legislation based solely on the fact that it would create revenue, isn't good policy. He says if businesses are struggling, there are options out there.

"I don't want small business owners to wait on potential legislation because we have resources," added Governor Holcomb.

For bar owners like Stan Balser, he says this would create new opportunities.

"I would like the governor to really take a look at this instead of giving us the assistance," added Balser. "This is something that we would be earning. It would give us more revenue to do more things for the establishments and for our customers."

Allowing video gambling is something bar owners say will help the state as well.

"For a lot of us to keep moving forward, we need things like this to change," said  Thielen. "This change in particular will help the state as well. The state makes 30 percent of all revenue off of it also. So it seems like a big win-win."

As of right now, there is one bill that has been filed that would allow electronic gaming in veterans' service organizations. But no bill has been filed at this time that would allow it in all bars and tavern establishments. For more details on the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association's research on legalization click here. 

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 18°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 20°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 18°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 21°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 28°
Active Start To The Work Week
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events