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Gamers threaten to pull $50 million convention out of Indiana if governor signs anti-gay bill

Gamers threaten to pull $50 million convention out of Indiana if governor signs anti-gay bill

A major gaming convention has threatened to pull out of Indiana if state governor Mike Pence signs a bill that would allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against LGBTI people on religious grounds.

Adrian Swartout, chief executive officer of Gen Con, wrote a letter to Pence, warning that ‘legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy.’

And that it would ‘factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.’

Gen Con is the largest tabletop-game convention in North America by both attendance and number of events.

Swartout estimated that the four-day event brings more than $50 million to Indianapolis annually.

He said the wide-ranging diversity of the convention’s 56,000 attendees was a ‘key element’ its to the success and growth.

The Indiana House of Representatives and Senate both passed the religious freedom bill earlier this week.

Pence’s signature is all that is needed now for it to become law.

‘The legislation is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact,’ he said in a statement.

‘I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.’