Debunking Video Gaming Terminal Myths
If you are an advocate for legalizing VGTs in Indiana, you understand the value they will bring to your business and community. However, there are still several harmful myths about VGTs that must be dispelled. Read below and learn how to respond to the top four VGT myths when speaking with patrons, community leaders and legislators.
Myth #1: Video Gaming Terminals will quickly deplete a player's paycheck.
Truth: Video Gaming Terminals in Indiana will have a maximum $2 betting limit. Additionally, VGTs will award 85-92% of money played to the players. This means that for every dollar a player bets, that player will get back 85-92 cents in winnings. So, if someone played 100 hands of poker on a VGT poker video game, the most they could bet overall would be $500, and on average, they would likely win between $425 and $460 - an actual loss of just $40-75.
Myth #2: VGTS will negatively affect my community.
Truth: VGTs for Indiana advocates for limiting the types and quantity of establishments that have VGTs to ensure they won't be everywhere. All VGTs will be restricted to players ages 21 and up, and will not be in places that allow children. While only a small group of people will have access to VGTs, the benefits for the community are far-reaching and include:
Sustaining struggling Hoosier small businesses by increasing their revenue and bringing new patrons into their establishments
Millions of dollars in local and state tax revenue for all 92 counties
The creation of more than 32,000 jobs state-wide
Myth #3: VGTs will increase the amount of social problems such as pathological gambling and higher crime rates in many communities.
Truth: A study by the General Account Office (GAO) found no definitive evidence that there was a link between the legalization of “convenience gambling” and an increase in social problems such as pathological gambling, personal bankruptcy or crime rates. Indiana’s VGT proposal involves several statutes that will create even more safeguards to the community. For example, only establishments with a three-way liquor license will be able to apply for VGTs. Since these liquor licenses are limited throughout the state, VGTs will be capped in each community as well. This rule and many others will promote responsible gambling for entertainment purposes.
Myth #4: Indiana already has legalized gambling in casinos, so VGTs are unnecessary.
Truth: While it is true that Indiana does not lack gambling opportunities and places, there are only 13 casinos in the state, and they are mostly in the Northern and Southern parts of Indiana, found in only 11 out of 92 counties. This means most Hoosiers have to travel a few hours by car to enjoy gaming. In addition, state and local governments have become more and more dependent on funding coming from a stream of revenue that is steadily decreasing. Legalizing VGTs would help put money in all parts of the state, and in all communities. As Brad Klopfenstein, manager of The Antelope Club in Indianapolis, states, “It is important that they look at the whole picture beyond the big casinos and give small businesses like mine a seat at the table.”
When considering legalizing VGTs in the state of Indiana, it is important to look at that whole picture as well. When you hear an argument against, do your research. You will more than likely find that the benefit for all Hoosiers far outweighs any perceived negatives that VGTs will bring to communities.
If you are ready to get involved in bringing VGTs to Indiana, go to our Take Action webpage to see how you can be a part of the transformation of our state.