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High hopes for big bets: Indiana bar owners push for video gaming

The question: Will lawmakers go along?
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Posted at 11:34 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 23:43:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Owners and operators of bars and non-profit clubs are asking the General Assembly to legalize video gaming terminals throughout Indiana. More than 900 of them have signed a petition in support of it.

"This is the way to really help out local businesses. I hope that's where their heart is this year," said Brad Klopfenstein, Indiana Licensed Beverage Association President. Klopfenstein says businesses are hurting because of the pandemic. He believes video gaming could turn some of that around, allowing local businesses to cash in on gambling that's already taking place in the state.

"We've had gaming in Indiana with the lottery and horse racing since the late 80's, but now, you can pull your phone out and sports bet from anywhere in the entire state of Indiana," Klopfenstein said.

Matthew Przewoznik knows video gambling would bring in money because he owns Flat Rock Tap in Hammond, Indiana. It's just a few miles away from Illinois where video gaming is legal.

"That would help out tremendously," Przewoznik said. "I see and I talk to the owners across the state line and see the revenue they're producing."

"This is really going to help the small mom and pop bars that have been hit by the pandemic," Klopfenstein said. "Our estimate is that it'll be about $100,000 per establishment, per year."

Klopfenstein tells WRTV, the revenue made from video gaming would be split three ways: the bar owner, the company that owns the machines, and local municipalities. To learn more about the push for video gaming terminals, you can visit their website https://www.vgtsforindiana.org/