Indiana Online Casino Hopes Diminish as iGaming Bills Stall in General Assembly
It appears the legalization of real money online casino gaming in Indiana will have to wait.
A spokesperson for Indiana Rep. Alan Morrison confirmed to TopUSCasinos.com on Monday that Indiana H.B. 1337 and 1356, which would have legalized expanded forms of online wagering, died in committee. But the spokesperson did leave the door open that some form of iGaming could still be approved before the General Assembly wraps up the 2022 session in March.
“Those bills did not pass their committee by the deadline,” the spokesperson said in an email sent to TopUSCasinos.com. “However, language from those bills could potentially appear in other bills still going through the legislative process. So there's still a chance they could become law in some form.”
What Indiana’s iGaming Bills Included
The pair of iGaming bills were pitched by sponsors as a way to transform the state’s gaming marketplace.
H.B. 1337 would have allowed 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 was sponsored by Rep. Morrison, would have set 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The bill would also have repealed the historic district community support fee in place for casinos and racinos in the state.
H.B. 1356 also would have cleared 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 set an 18% tax rate on all interactive sports betting transactions and provided for revenue sharing between the facilities and the cities and counties where they operate.
The second interactive gaming legislation was authored by Rep. Doug Gutwein and Rep. Ethan Manning. It had the support of the iDevelopment and Economic Association, which released a study saying the bill could generate $500 million in taxes for the state in the next five years.
Indiana’s Online Gaming History
The failed 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 came a year after a similar push to expand iGaming failed in the General Assembly.
In Indiana, mobile sports betting services DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, BetMGM, PointsBet, theScore Bet, TwinSpires, Unibet, WynnBET, Barstool Sports/Penn National Interactive, Betway, and Caesars Sportsbook are all live.
The Indiana Gaming Commission granted Seminole Hard Rock Digital a temporary sports betting vendor license Jan. 12. It’s the opening step in a process that would allow Hard Rock Digital to offer retail and mobile sports betting through Gary’s Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.
Similar iGaming legislation is currently being debated in neighboring states, such as Iowa and Illinois, while Michigan has allowed iGaming since January 2021.
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.