Pence stance on gambling leads to confusion

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Governor Mike Pence is opposed to an expansion of gambling, but he supports taking steps to help out the gambling industry.

It’s a position that has led to confusion.

During the gambling debate in the Indiana House of Representatives this week the governor was working behind the scenes to kill the idea of live dealers at table games in Anderson and Shelbyville.

Yet when he met with reporters in his Statehouse office Thursday Pence refused to say whether live dealers fit his definition of a gambling expansion.

Instead Pence said that his position will be made clear if the gambling bill arrives on his desk.

Two days ago the House voted to take live dealers out of the bill and then voted again to put them back into it.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says the governor’s input has not been helpful.

“He got involved in a way that he doesn’t usually get involved in it,” said Pelath of Pence, “and it turned it into a fiasco. I’m glad we were able to right the ship.”

“If the bill gets to my desk I’ll evaluate it from the standpoint of, of first my view that we should not, I don’t support an expansion of gaming,” said Pence, “but also, I’ve also made it clear that I am open to common sense reforms in business practices that allow these businesses to remain competitive.”

The House vote was strong enough to override a veto should the governor choose to take that step.

In the meantime, the gambling bill will get a hearing in the state Senate and lawmakers have two months to craft a bill that the governor might sign.

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