Report Says Indiana Online Casino Legislation Could Generate $500 Million in New Revenue
A report says one of the two iGaming bills making its way through Indiana’s General Assembly has the potential to be a game-changer for the state’s economy.
The study, released Wednesday by the iDevelopment and Economic Association, touts the potential House Bill 1356 would have.
House Bill 1356 would clear the way for online casino gaming to begin — starting in July for licensed riverboat casino owners, as well as for operating agents of a riverboat casino in a historic hotel district and permit holders at racetracks in the state.
The association said the bill would generate nearly $500 million over the next five years in new tax revenues, thanks to the strong consumer protections the iGaming legislation would provide.
John Pappas, who serves as iDEA’s State Advocacy Director, is on board with the house legislation, saying in an association press release the bill has the best potential for the Hoosier state.
“Indiana already has the experience and infrastructure in place through online sports betting to support iGaming,” Pappas said in the press release. “Without even realizing it, Indiana consumers are using illegal online gaming sites that provide no consumer protections and zero state tax revenue. The state’s lawmakers can meet consumer demand by establishing a legal, competitive market that benefits the state economy and protects online players with regulatory safeguards.”
Why Does the Gaming Industry Support H.B. 1356?
One reason the industry supports H.B. 1356, as opposed to the separate legislation that would legalize iGaming in Indiana (H.B. 1337), is its ability to modernize the state’s gambling market.
Matt Bell, who serves as the executive director of the Casino Association of Indiana, believes the iGaming bill has the potential to keep Indiana’s gambling industry on pace with neighboring states, such as Illinois and Michigan, while providing Hoosiers with the protection they need to bet safely.
“iGaming in Indiana will modernize our industry and keep us competitive with our neighboring states that seek to extract Hoosier customers and Hoosier entertainment dollars from our state,” Bell said in the press release. “… We mutually agree that the iGaming market presents Indiana with an opportunity to expand our current regulated environment in a positive way, without impacting the land-based gaming revenue generated in the state. Just as mobile sports betting has grown the overall revenues for our industry, iGaming will enhance our connection with existing customers and enable us to meet new ones in ways never before possible.”
What iGaming Would Add to Indiana’s Marketplace
The upsides that would come from legalizing iGaming in Indiana include greater tax revenues, as well as providing supplementary revenue to the state’s existing, land-based casinos, iDEA’s report says.
The report discusses how Indiana’s vibrant sports betting environment should serve as a blueprint for future iGaming developments, as it would allow the state to expand its gaming offerings while providing top-notch consumer protection.
“Borrowing from the success of mobile sports betting, Indiana already has the infrastructure and regulatory safeguards to ensure consumers have all of the resources to support responsible gambling behaviors and to receive support that they may not otherwise receive,” the report reads.
Indiana H.B. 1356 got its first reading by the Committee on Public Policy on Jan. 11.
The legislature adjourns for the year on March 14. The gambling industry is hoping H.B. 1356 will see its way through the legislature in the next 54 days.