In 2024, Indiana and New Hampshire lawmakers say they’ll roll the dice again with online casino bills. However, the proposed legislation will take different routes to the table this time. They hope that’ll ensure the online casino bills represent winning bets if the measures become law.
On July 14 at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) Summer Meeting in Denver, Indiana Sen. Jon Ford and New Hampshire Sen. Timothy P. Lang Sr. shared their plans. They both spoke during the session titled 2023 iGaming Legislative Recap + Discussion on the Opportunities and Challenges of the Legalization of iGaming.
Ford, R-Terre Haute, believes adding online casino legalization to an overall gambling bill to improve existing wagering laws may perform better than this year’s solo online casino bill. Also, according to reporting by Matthew Kredell of PlayUSA, the bill may enhance responsible gambling protections, revise marketing and advertising regulations, and allow retail casinos to relocate to gain revenue.
Lang, R-Sanbornton, spoke during the same session as the NCLGS president. Kredell reported that Lang’s idea is to include charitable casinos in crafting the 2024 New Hampshire bill that he plans to pre-file in September. In New Hampshire, retail casinos are known as charitable casinos because what would typically be state tax revenue goes to charities.
PlayUSA and Bonus are Catena Media publications.
Bonus reported on Indiana’s bill being introduced in January and never making it out of committee.
Lang’s measure did last until May. However, the House voted to “indefinitely postpone” SB104 on May 5.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island was the only state to legalize online casino gambling since Connecticut’s marketplace launched on Oct. 19, 2021. That 2023 law means online casino gambling will launch in Rhode Island in 2024.
NH Charitable Gaming Spokesman Uncertain
Rick G. Newman testified against SB104 in April. He said he was worried legal online casino gambling would cannibalize revenue from the charitable gaming industry. The lobbyist and former House member spoke on behalf of the New Hampshire Charitable Gaming Operators Association (NHCGOA).
Newman said he was concerned that iGaming would pull revenue away from existing land-based casinos.
Today, he told Bonus:
I’m not sure if there will be any opportunity to file an online gaming bill for the 2024 session due to the fact that the bill (Senate Bill 104) was “indefinitely postponed” by the House in the ’23 session. That means that any bill introduced in ’24 cannot be substantially similar in subject matter to SB104.
I do not know if a bill will be filed.
Newman added that he couldn’t comment on what Lang’s planning. Plus, they haven’t “had a conversation at this point about anything specific related to iGaming.”
He told Bonus today:
My group has no plan in place on the subject at this point.
However, Newman did note for Bonus that the current period is “down-time, legislatively.”
Lang didn’t respond to a request for comment today from Bonus.