Indiana's casinos are strong partners with the state and its communities. In addition to creating economic benefits, the casinos demonstrate community commitment through responsible gaming initiatives, voluntary financial contributions and nonprofit involvement.
Below are some commonly asked questions about the gaming industry in general and casino gaming in particular.
Q: Who visits Indiana's riverboat casinos?
A: In 2001 alone, more than 19 million people visited Indiana's 10 casinos. The average patron takes 2.1 cruises per visit, resulting in 41 million admissions annually to all of Indiana's casinos. According to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report issued summer 1999, the average household income of commercial casino patrons is about one-third higher than the national average household income. The communications efforts of Indiana's casinos reach this audience.
Q: Why does the industry call itself "gaming"?
A: Gambling can occur in an unregulated or minimally regulated environment. Gaming, however, is a highly regulated industry. All casinos and their employees must be licensed and follow strict regulations developed by the state. In addition, gaming is multi-dimensional. Indiana casinos generally feature restaurants, hotels and live performances - a complete entertainment package.
Q. Are gaming and bankruptcy related?
A: Legalized gaming and bankruptcy rates have grown recently, leading some to theorize the two trends may be linked. A study released by the U.S. Treasury Department in August 1999 found a statistically weak relationship between frequent gaming and bankruptcy. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report issued summer 1999 supports this finding.
Q. Does the presence of casinos affect crime rates in the host communities?
A: Crime does not necessarily increase with the presence of a casino in a community. For example, in a 1998 report issued by the IU Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Gary's chief of police states that Majestic Star Casino's presence has not contributed to additional crime activity in the neighborhood surrounding the casino. In addition, in testimony before the Interim Study Committee on Economic Issues in October 1999, Gary Mayor Scott King testified that Gary, a community in which two casinos operate, has not seen an increase in crime, but rather a significant decrease.
Q: How often do casino patrons seek help for problem gaming?
A: According to research done on behalf of the Indiana Gambling Impact Study Commission, which released its findings in December 1999, 365 people have enrolled in state-certified gaming treatment programs since 1997. In that same time, millions of people visited Indiana casinos. Through the admission tax, casino gaming is the only form of gaming in the state that provides funding to help prevent problem gaming and to treat those who do take gaming to this level. The admission tax also pays for the 1-800-9-WITH-IT referral line.
If you would like answers to other questions specifically about the casino industry in Indiana, contact the Casino Association of Indiana at: info@CasinoAssociation.org.