(STATEHOUSE) - The House has voted to legalize pull-tab gambling in Indiana taverns, leaving it to Governor Daniels to either sign or veto the bill.
Supporters of pull tabs say taverns need the lure of low-stakes gambling to stay in business, especially after last year's legislature authorized it for social organizations like the Elks or American Legion. Opponents have compared gambling money to crack cocaine.
House minority leader Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) argues the bill would instantly create 6,000 new casinos in Indiana.
In his final bid to stop the bill, Bosma took a different approach, the legislation itself is badly written, with regulation of the games assigned not to the Indiana Gaming Commission, but to the Excise Police as part of the regulation of alcohol sales.
Representative Tim Harris (R-Marion) calls the bill the only gambling legislation he'd ever vote for. He says unlike past gambling legislation, the pull-tab bill will put money in the pockets of Hoosiers: the tavern owners who campaigned for the legislation.
The bill passed 53-42.
Governor Daniels has said he's open to the idea of pull tabs but would have to read the final version.
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