Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Gambling Expanding despite Gov. Pence's Opposition ; CAPITOL BUREAU

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Gambling Expanding despite Gov. Pence's Opposition ; CAPITOL BUREAU

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mike Pence says he opposes expanding gaming in Indiana - but according to some critics, it's happening right under his nose. No, not through the casino bill moving through the General Assembly. That's the one that prompted Pence last week to criticize its inclusion of provisions that would let riverboat casinos move onto the land they already own and allow live table games in addition to slots at the state's two "racinos."

The expansion of gambling - or, at least, an effort to dramatically increase the number of gamblers - is taking place at the state-run Hoosier Lottery, which launched a new advertising campaign last week that downplays the fact lottery ticket-buyers ultimately lose much more money than they win and pitches the game as one that can help players realize their dreams.

The billboards and ads feature Hoosiers discussing what they would do if they won the lottery - a huge departure from the Hoosier Lottery's previous advertisements, which encouraged responsible gambling.

"The time has come for every Hoosier - Alfordsville to Zanesville, from the streets of Indianapolis to the fields of LaGrange - to stand up and make your dreams heard, pie in the sky or feet on the ground," a narrator says in an introductory ad.

"We're not going to tell you how to dream, we just ask that you do. Because the fact is, this isn't just any lottery - this is the Hoosier Lottery, created for us, by us, and inspired by our dreams."

Hoosiers are featured in billboards and ads talking about what they would do with the money. Their answers range from setting up college funds to restoring a movie theater to paying for in vitro fertilization. You can watch the ads here: thehoosierlottery.

This is the first ad campaign launched since former Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration supported the state lottery commission's decision to hire Rhode Island-based GTECH to take over a number of the Hoosier Lottery's functions.

The goal was to boost the lottery's revenue by drawing new players into the fold, but lottery commissioners made the curious argument they did not consider it an expansion of gaming. …

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