Gaming convention threatens to leave Indiana over anti-gay bill

Wed. March 25, 2015 6:03 PM by

Indianapolis, IN - Organizers of Gen Con have threatened to leave Indiana if Governor Mike Pence signs a bill that opponents say would allow businesses to refuse to serve the LGBT community based on religious beliefs.

The Republican-led General Assembly gave its final approval of SB 101 Tuesday and sent it to Pence for his signature.

Pence has said he's "looking forward" to signing the measure.

(Related: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence "looking forward" to signing bill allowing businesses to refuse gays.)

According to, Gen Con LLC, the parent company of Gen Con, a successful gaming convention held annually in Indianapolis, has threatened to take its convention elsewhere if the bill becomes law.

Passage of the bill "will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years," Gen Con LLC CEO and owner Adrian Swartout said in a letter to Pence.

"Last year, Gen Con hosted more than 56,000 attendees from more than 40 different countries and all 50 states," Swartout wrote. "Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key element to the success and growth of our convention."

"Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state's economy," he added.

According to, the four-day event "creates in excess of $50 million in revenue for the city of Indianapolis."


Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine