Fort Wayne is considering bringing a casino to the city to help deal with its ongoing economic problems and a looming budget deficit.

In a press conference last week, Mayor Tom Henry said it would be “irresponsible” to turn down individuals who are interested in setting up casinos or other gaming projects since it would bring in badly needed additional revenue.

“We’ve made it clear that we’re open to meeting with anyone who wants to bring a viable proposal to the table,” Henry said.

Fort Wayne passed a $178 million 2009 budget last month that included a salary freeze for city employees and a series of other cuts, but no layoffs. The mayor blamed much of the city’s budget problems on Indiana’s new law capping property tax revenue for local governments.

Even if the city decided to move ahead with a casino, it could be difficult to persuade state lawmakers to approve a license. Indiana currently has 13 casinos.

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