Indiana online casino and poker legalization efforts are underway now that a bill is moving through the House. While this is the Indiana General Assembly‘s third try at augmenting the state’s legal online sports betting market with its online gambling sisters, this year’s bill may fare better than previous ones for several reasons.
First, the measure state Rep. Ethan Manning introduced yesterday has a month longer to move from the House to the Senate than the 2022 legislation did.
The “House crossover deadline” is Feb. 27. In other words, the bill needs to be approved by the House and moved to the Senate by then for a chance at passage. The 2023 session ends in April.
Last year’s attempts died in committee, not meeting the Jan. 25 deadline to progress.
Second, lawmakers have seen how well Indiana online sports betting has been performing since its launch in 2019.
Next, Indiana’s noticed its northern neighbor, Michigan, become one of the Big Three online casino states, generating more than $1 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) last year.
Plus, legislators have had time to digest findings from a January 2022 study from iDEA Growth (iDevelopment and Economic Association) that found Indiana’s likely online casino revenue would total $500 million a year. That research assumes an 18% tax rate on Indiana online casino gambling, which is the rate proposed yesterday by Manning, R-Logansport.
State legislators around the country are also concerned about the loss of billions of dollars in federal aid as pandemic relief funds dry up. So some are considering offsetting the losses with tax revenue from legal online casino gambling.
Also, even Indiana’s conservative southern neighbor, Kentucky, is considering legalizing online poker and sports betting.
Indiana Online Casino Is a Favorite for 2023 Legalization
From Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen to Dustin Gouker, Catena Media‘s North American vice president, online gambling insiders name Indiana online casino as a favorite for legalization in 2023.
Illinois and New York usually round out that list, but Colorado and Iowa are in some forecasts.
For instance, Nygaard-Andersen said in October 2022 that “The Three Is, and then New York” were the states she believed would next legalize US online casino gambling. Her company owns half of BetMGM, along with MGM Resorts International.
Gouker answered questions about Illinois, Indiana, and New York for Alex Weldon of Bonus on Dec. 30. Gouker’s role at Catena Media includes overseeing Bonus.
Indiana online casino legalization’s chances in 2023 are, according to Gouker:
I really think Indiana gets it done this year.
They have set the stage for online casino legalization with discussions taking place over many years, and a bill that has already seen the light of day.
Indiana also already has a robust online sports betting industry. Outside of Texas sports betting, the online gambling industry seems laser-focused on passing a bill here. That being said, the window to get something done is short, and any hiccup could mean iGaming doesn’t make it to the finish line.
However, if a different House gaming bill is any indication, Indiana lawmakers seem to be open to gambling expansion in 2023. HB1326 amends Indiana law to allow organizations to accept credit card payments for charitable gaming raffles.
So as online gambling finds greater acceptance, Indiana expanding legal gambling to include online casino and poker may be in the cards for 2023.