Indiana General Assembly Debating Pair of Bills to Expand Online Casino Access
Indiana’s prohibition on online casino gaming will again be front and center in the state’s General Assembly, with a pair of bills already introduced that would allow riverboat casinos and horse racing facilities to offer iGaming.
The bills — Indiana House Bill 1337 and Indiana House Bill 1356 — are both making their way through the legislature’s lower chamber.
The potential legislation comes 18 months after Indiana’s sports betting marketplace launched, with wagering allowed at one of the state’s casinos or “racinos,” which are casinos located on racetrack property. And the new bills come a year after a similar push to expand iGaming failed in the General Assembly.
Indiana allows mobile sports wagering, with DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, BetMGM, PointsBet, theScore Bet, TwinSpires, Unibet, WynnBET, Barstool Sports/Penn National Interactive, Betway, and Caesars Sportsbook all live in the state.
Similar iGaming legislation is currently being debated in neighboring states, such as Iowa and Illinois, while Michigan has allowed iGaming since January 2021.
What the Indiana iGaming Bills Entail
The pair of iGaming bills making their way through the state legislature would transform the state’s gaming marketplace.
H.B. 1337 allows licensed owners of riverboat casinos, those operating a riverboat in a historic hotel district, and racetrack “racino” permit holders to manage and conduct interactive gaming.
The legislation, which is sponsored by Republican Rep. Alan Morrison, sets a tax rate of 18% for all interactive gaming activities, with appropriate revenue sharing between operators and their respective cities and counties.
The bill would also repeal the historic district community support fee in place for casinos and racinos in the state.
The bill went through its first reading in the Indiana House on Tuesday and has plenty of time to be heard by the full 100-member House, as the legislative session runs into March.
H.B. 1356 also would clear the way for interactive gaming to begin — starting in July for licensed riverboat casino owners — as well as operating agents of a riverboat casino in a historic hotel district, and permit holders at racetracks in the state.
The bill also sets an 18% tax rate on all interactive sports betting transactions and provides for revenue sharing between the facilities and the cities and counties where they operate.
The second interactive gaming legislation is authored by Rep. Doug Gutwein and Rep. Ethan Manning and was introduced into the state’s house Tuesday for a first reading by the house’s Committee on Public Policy.
Indiana Sports Betting Revenue & Handle, December vs. November
|Total handle||Mobile handle||Revenue (taxable AGR)|
|Change||Down 0.1%||Down 0.1%||Down 45.9%|
Indiana Sports Betting Thrives
On Wednesday, Indiana reported its sports betting figures from December. The total handle ($463.0 million) almost kept pace with a record-setting November ($463.7 million). It’s a sign early 2022 could be huge for Indiana sports betting.
Mobile sports betting in Indiana was nearly 93% of the total handle in December.
But Indiana's December sports betting revenue ($25.8 million) was down 45.9% from November ($47.7 million) while taxes collected for December ($2.45 million) were down the same percentage from November. The state took in $355.4 million in handle in September.
For the 2021 calendar year, the total sports betting handle in Indiana was $3.8 billion, with $3.5 billion of that on mobile. Revenue for the year was $306 million.
Christopher Boan writes for TopUSCasinos.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.