Indiana online casino hopes dim as iGaming bills stagnate at General Assembly
It looks like the legalization of real money online casino gambling in Indiana will have to wait.
A spokesman for Indiana Rep. Alan Morrison confirmed to TopUSCasinos.com on Monday that Indiana HB 1337 and 1356, which would have legalized expanded forms of online betting, died in committee. But the spokesperson left the door open that some form of iGaming could still be approved before the General Assembly wraps up the 2022 session in March.
“These bills did not pass their committee by the deadline,” the spokesperson said in an email to TopUSCasinos.com. “However, the wording of these bills could potentially appear in other bills still in the legislative process. So there is still a chance that they will become laws in one form or another.
What Indiana iGaming Bills Include
The pair of iGaming bills have been touted by sponsors as a way to transform the state’s gaming market.
HB 1337 would have allowed licensed owners of river casinos, those who operate a river boat in a historic hotel district, and racetrack “racino” license holders to manage and conduct interactive games.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Representative Morrison, would have set an 18% tax rate for all interactive gaming activities, with appropriate revenue sharing between operators and their respective cities and counties.
The bill also would have repealed the historic district’s community support fee in place for casinos and racinos in the state.
HB 1356 would also have paved the way for the start of interactive gaming – starting in July for licensed river casino owners – as well as agents operating a river casino in a historic hotel district and licensees in the state racetracks.
The bill also sets an 18% tax rate on all interactive sports betting transactions and provides for revenue sharing between facilities and the cities and counties where they operate.
The second interactive gaming legislation was drafted by Rep. Doug Gutwein and Rep. Ethan Manning. He had the backing of the iDevelopment and Economic Association, which published a study indicating the bill could generate $500 million in taxes for the state over the next five years.
Indiana’s Online Gambling History
The failure of the legislation comes 18 months after the Indiana sports betting market was launched, with wagering permitted at any of the state’s casinos or “racinos,” which are casinos located on the property of the racetrack. And the new bills came a year after a similar push to expand iGaming in the General Assembly failed.
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 provider license on January 12. This is the first 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.