Virtual casino proposed for Indianapolis airportOctober 16th, 2013 at 3:45 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
Two Indianapolis attorneys are floating an idea this week that would expand gambling in Indiana using new technology. It could also bring more direct flights to the airport.
Just last year Vision Airlines announced new direct flights from Indianapolis to Myrtle Beach, flights that no longer exist. The problems posed by a lack of direct flights have led to a new proposal for gambling at the airport. “To help fund a pool of money to attract airlines,” says gambling attorney Phil Sicuso, “that aren’t really sure that Indianapolis is the best destination for them.”
The idea is similar to one already in effect in Minneapolis. It allows ipads to be used for low stakes gambling at the airport with proceeds going to fund a new football stadium. It’s a new concept known as mobile gaming.
Sicuso and law partner Joe Champion think it should be used to create a virtual casino at the Indianapolis airport, a place where travelers could play an assortment of games. “A patron can play a game of roulette,” said Champion, “while somebody right next to him can be playing blackjack.”
“They just have a place to go, relax, and have adult entertainment while they’re there,” said Sicuso.
An airport spokesman says it’s not something airport officials are pursuing and it’s not possible under existing law. But the proposal is attracting interest from the gambling industry. “They like the creative aspect of this concept,” says Champion, “so it’s sort of been eye opening that it’s taken off the way it has.”
So, even if the airport says no, Champion and Sicuso won’t give up. “Get the conversation going,” said Champion, “about (how) the landscape of gaming in Indiana needs to change.”
One thing that’s appealing about the idea of a virtual casino is cost. A single slot machine can sell for $20,000 or more. You could establish a entire virtual casino for the cost of a few hundred ipads and a server.