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Rising Star Casino Resort, located in the Southeastern corner of the state, was the first Indiana riverboat in the region. At its peak, the casino earned $160 million dollars per year.

But CEO Dan Lee says those days are gone.  Last year the casino only took in $60 million.

“This was built here as the first casino in the tristate area," Lee says. "It made a lot of money in those days. We’re sitting here now with it, trying to cover the payroll.”

Chris J / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisjones/5993842164

Local communities with casinos could face significant financial losses under changes made Thursday in the House Ways and Means Committee to gaming industry legislation. 

Communities where casinos are located currently get four pots of money because of those facilities: dollars from the admittance tax and the wagering tax, money from the state to supplement previous losses in the admittance tax, and money from what are called local development agreements, or L-D-As – essentially, side contracts with the casinos themselves. 

Mike / https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherpintplease/

Sun King and other small Indiana breweries are a step closer to being allowed to make more beer.

The House Public Policy Committee passed a bill from Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) that would allow craft beer brewers to triple the amount of beer they can make and sell within the state each year.   

Right now, the limit is 30,000 barrels - if a brewery makes more, it has to obtain a different permit and is no longer allowed to distribute its own beer.

John Wardell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnwardell/80125882

Legislation aimed at helping Indiana’s gaming industry stem a sharp decline in revenues passed its first test in the General Assembly when a House committee approved the bill Thursday.

Rep. Tom Dermody’s (R-LaPorte) bill allows Indiana’s riverboats to move inland onto their existing footprint.  And the state’s two racetrack casinos can add table games with live dealers. 

The live table games are capped at half of the number of existing electronic table games.  And for every live table game the racinos add, they must eliminate one of the electronic ones. 

Wayan Vota / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/535670898

Indiana liquor stores, once the biggest opponents of legislation legalizing Sunday alcohol sales, are now backing the bill after a House committee made a major change Wednesday.

The original bill simply legalized Sunday alcohol sales.  The amended bill does that too, while creating significant new regulations for non-liquor stores that sell alcohol. 

The measure would require clerks at grocery and convenience stores to undergo the same training that liquor store employees do. 

Nicholas Eckhart / https://www.flickr.com/photos/fanofretail/14644044735

As the Senate gets ready to discuss reinforcing the Indiana Constitution‘s religious conscience clause, Governor Pence is lending his support to the effort.

Pence made a surprise appearance at a rally for what supporters call the "religious freedom restoration act." 19 states have passed similar laws, requiring the state to show a "compelling interest" for any action that would burden religious belief.

Matthew Hurst / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/2463077387

The Indiana Department of Insurance says health insurance giant Anthem is doing everything it can to mitigate the effects of a recent data breach.

Anthem announced late Wednesday night it had been the target of a cyber attack that left client and employee information at risk. 

Though the insurer says no medical information or credit card data had been stolen, hackers did gain access to personal information including names, birth dates, addresses, and social security numbers. 

courtesy GE

In a speech that was touted as one which would show Purdue as a leader in the country’s new manufacturing economy, the President of the National Association of Manufacturers Tuesday focused instead on blasting the Obama Administration.

In a speech kicking off a nationwide tour, Jay Timmons spent a single paragraph on technology such as "3-D printing, nanoscale chemistry" and new medicines, but spent several minutes explaining why he feels the White House is working at cross-purposes with business interests.

NOAA / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noaamarinedebris/12822245515

A House committee has unanimously passed a bill that would make Indiana one of the first states in the nation to ban the use of tiny plastic particles known as microbeads in personal care products. 

Microbeads are found in a wide variety of beauty and personal products, including soaps, lotions and even toothpaste. 

The problem, say researchers, is that those microbeads are showing up in the water system. 

Paresh Gajria / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cflat/2909707701

3:30 p.m. Update:

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington tells Network Indiana the investigation included a personal experience from a law enforcement officer who ate at one of the El Rodeo locations in Greater Lafayette.

"A detective from the West Lafayette Police Department at our local El Rodeo and he noticed that as he paid for his lunch, the cash drawer was never opened, no one rang up his sale and he was returned his cash back out of another drawer," Harrington says.

Earlier:

Seth Anderson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/271337214

Indiana farmers and ethanol producers are in limbo as they wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to decide how much of the biofuel should be blended into the nation’s gasoline.

Indiana is one of the largest ethanol producers in the U.S. And every year, thanks to a law known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, the EPA decides on how much of that ethanol gets mixed with gasoline.

Ben Loehrke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benloehrke/

Agribusiness executives and researchers are describing Indiana as an area poised to become a global heavyweight in food-science research.

Elanco president Jeff Simmons says Indiana is building a roster of companies working on ways to boost food production to meet the needs of a world population projected to hit 10-billion in 35 years.

For instance, Simmons says, it’ll take a 60-percent increase in milk production to serve that many people.

Rich Evers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/richevers/6042201042

The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ruled that the state’s tort claims cap – which limits how much money people can sue the state for – is constitutional. 

The state’s tort claims cap is set at $700,000 per person and $5 million per incident. 

Jordyn Polet is the only injured victim of the State Fair stage collapse who did not accept the state’s settlement offer in 2011. 

Part of Polet’s lawsuit over the tragedy challenged that claims cap. 

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the cap. 

Carmel Company's iKeg Could Help Bars On New Year's

Dec 30, 2014
Matthew Peoples / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leftymgp/7332282888

As bars and breweries stock up for New Year‘s Eve, some will use an app from a Carmel company to make sure they‘re not tapped out.   

Because you can‘t see into a beer keg, SteadyServ CEO Steve Hershberger says bars can’t tell when they‘re running low, and brewers don’t know which beers are selling fastest. He says most bars just guess.

Andreas Johannsen / https://www.flickr.com/photos/andjohan/564471485

Indiana’s private sector added more jobs last month than any single month in 15 years.  Yet the state’s unemployment rate remains unchanged.

The private sector added nearly 16,000 jobs in November, led by huge gains in the Professional and Business services sector. 

But the state’s unemployment rate held steady for the third consecutive month at 5.7-percent.  That’s because the additional jobs were largely offset by additions to the workforce – more than 12,000 people last month joined the job hunt. 

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