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Indiana Gaming Commission waves aside concerns about major funding shift in new law

Greg Small sits in front of a microphone. Small is a White man with dark blonde hair and a largely white and gray beard, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Greg Small has been executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission since September 2021.

Indiana gaming officials seem to be largely dismissing concerns about a new law that will fundamentally shift the way gaming enforcement is funded.

SEA 256 will no longer allow the state Gaming Commission to use fines and penalties it collects to fund its investigations. And if the increased money the agency will now receive from the state budget isn’t enough, the commission must seek approval from the State Budget Committee — largely made up of lawmakers — to get more funding.

In a statement, Indiana Gaming Commission officials said they’ll work to comply with the new law, like any piece of legislation. And they said they don’t anticipate any “negative impact on agency operations” as a result of the measure.

READ MORE: Lawmakers shift the way Indiana funds gaming enforcement, add more legislative oversight

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Critics of the bill argue it’s injecting lawmakers directly into gaming enforcement, at a time when three former Republican state lawmakers have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the gaming industry in just the last few years.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.