Although the Indiana legislature resolved its budget issues on Tuesday, earlier in the day Hoosier Park and the state’s other gambling venues went to court and received an order that would have prevented the state shutting down those sites if a budget had not been approved.
Marion County Superior Court Judge John F. Hanley issued the injunction after agreeing with the argument that the state had no grounds to close the sites while the budget was being resolved. Gov. Mitch Daniels had stated he would shut the tracks and casinos down at 12:00 a.m. Wednesday because he believed state gaming regulators necessary to operate those sites were nonessential state employees who would have to be laid off without a budget.
According to Judge Hanley, “All costs associated with the enforcement of the Indiana Gaming Commission’s powers and duties are paid for directly by the casinos, including all the costs associated with gaming agents who are on site in every casino,” Hanley ruled. “No monies are expended by the state of Indiana to pay for gaming agents or the cost of enforcing regulations.”
Although the current situation has been resolved, Judge Hanley’s order calls for the state to provide evidence at a July 8 hearing to show why his injunction should not be made permanent.