Looking for alternative sources of revenue, 900 owners of taverns, nonprofits and bars have asked the state’s general assembly to legalize video gaming terminals on their premises.
Indiana Small Business Owners Ask for VGT Legalization
The clock is ticking away at the final hours of 2021, but Indiana’s business owners of bars, taverns and nonprofits are all keen to enter the New Year on a better economic footing. In an official letter sent to the Indiana General Assembly, 900 owners and operators of the above-mentioned organizations have asked to allow video gaming terminals to become legal in their establishments.
Among those looking for a permit are such organizations as VFWs and American Legions. Business owners have joined forces to seek a new revenue source and in the hopes of attracting new customers and bolstering small businesses and nonprofit clubs, which have been among the worst impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hoosier state has seen gambling expansion shape up nicely. November’s sports betting results were promising, and yet, taverns and nonprofit clubs have been left behind, something that the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association now wants to change.
ILBA, which joins all 900 business owners, is keen on achieving just that, says its president, Brad Klopfenstein, stressing the vital role these organizations play:
“These Indiana-based small businesses are important parts of small towns and neighborhoods. They have created jobs and paid taxes for decades, only to watch the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry explode in Indiana while they are left with the challenges of keeping their doors open.”
-Indiana Licensed Beverage Association president Brad Klopfenstein
Help Offset the Ramifications of Covid-19
To avoid permanent closures, Klopfenstein has cautioned, the state would need to adapt its practices and take a more favorable view of expanding gambling permits. According to observers, this may not be a bad idea to begin with.
Legalizing video gaming terminals or VGTs for short will prove an immediate jab for the economy, supporting local businesses and driving the creation of new jobs. Should it all go according to plan, the state should see $100 million in revenue in the first year of operation.
ILBA is not the only organization to have rallied behind the idea, with Indiana Amusement & Music Operators Association, Indiana Bowling Centers Association and the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association all giving their yes to the idea.
An estimated 32,000 jobs could be created should VGTs become legal. While many are preparing for the end-of-the-year celebrations, for the 900 business owners, the realities are harsher.
Covid-19 has severely crippled businesses and federal stimuli, as generous as they have been, can hardly come soon enough, or be sufficient to guarantee the sustainability of business operation.
For businesses to survive, argues Klopfenstein, new revenue sources are needed. He reminded that these small businesses are often the first to support local fundraisers and contribute back to the community.