Indiana online casino revenue could reach $830 million by its third year of regulation, shows a study released today. However, even if the Indiana General Assembly legalizes iGaming at its next opportunity, that revenue figure can’t become a reality until 2026.
That’s because the next chance lawmakers have to consider adding Indiana online casino to its list of legal gambling options is on Jan. 9, 2023. That’s when the legislature reconvenes.
Indiana’s House and Senate members didn’t approve iGaming this year, leaving HB 1337 and HB 1356 in committee before adjourning its 2022 session.
Still, the online gambling industry hopes for the Hoosier State to become the next legal US online casino jurisdiction.
To that end, iDEA Growth (development and Economic Association) notified Bonus.com today about the 103-page report released by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC). Titled Market and Policy Analysis: Prospective Internet Casino Gaming in Indiana, it’s the research that houses that $830 million gross gaming revenue (GGR) figure.
Today, John A. Pappas, founder and CEO of Corridor Consulting, spoke with Bonus.com in his capacity as iDEA state advocacy director:
I think if we look across the landscape of the US, the best chance lies in Indiana. I don’t think it’s fair to put a percentage on it. But I do know that a lot of work has gone on during the past two years to educate key stakeholders and to get the policy to a place where, if given a vote, it will pass.
Indiana Online Casino Similar to the Big Three
The IGC study, conducted “in conjunction with” Horsham, Penn.-based Spectrum Gaming Group, estimates the first year of Indiana online casino operations will yield $469 million in GGR. Year Two will see $663 million in GGR, according to Market and Policy Analysis: Prospective Internet Casino Gaming in Indiana.
Then Year Three brings in $830 million.
If they’re taxed at 20%, the research says Indiana online casino operators will give the state $166 million during Year Three.
Bonus.com readers seeking a basis for that GGR will note that the research compares Indiana to existing full-service online gambling states:
- Nevada (online poker, only)
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Indiana launched legal online sportsbooks in October 2019. Adding legal online casino gambling would make Indiana a full-service state.
However, Indiana, with its nearly 7 million population, most closely compares with the Big Three online gambling states, asserts the study.
The Big Three host larger populations, too:
- Michigan, 10 million
- New Jersey, 9 million
- Pennsylvania, 13 million
Each state has already generated $1 billion this year in online casino GGR.
The study says:
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan offer the best insights because they have more robust, widespread gaming industries to begin with. Igaming in the other states is limited, with it being offered via their respective state lotteries or, in the case of Connecticut, via the state’s two tribal casinos.
Indiana Online Casino Is 2023 Legalization Front-Runner
Pappas said online casino advocates, including iDEA, have been involved with Indiana lawmakers and concerned stakeholders for two years.
The legislation stands a better chance of passing in 2023 than it did during 2022 for another reason. Pappas points out to Bonus.com that 2023 is a budget year and, therefore, involves a more extended legislative session that ends in April.
(Research Alex Weldon and I published in April 2021 for Online Poker Report showed: “With only two exceptions, the states that have passed bills to legalize online sports betting, online casino gambling, or online poker held legislative sessions lasting for a significant portion of the year, if not the full thing.”)
Conversely, Indiana’s 2022 session lasted only a month. So the House bills that iDEA backed up with research it released on Jan. 19 only had days to pass before lawmakers left for the year.
Still, the iDEA research did provide numbers to remember. Using HB 1356 as a baseline that would’ve taxed Indiana online casino operators at 18%, iDEA estimated state coffers would see $500 million in new gaming tax revenue within the next five years.
Today, Bonus.com asked Pappas why he didn’t expect New York to be the next state to legalize online casino gambling, considering it’s seen $11 billion in handle since it launched online sportsbooks on Jan. 8.
Pappas said it took “a long time” for New York to allow daily fantasy sports (DFS), then another waiting period before legalizing sports betting.
In other words, New York lawmakers need time for online casino gambling “to earn” their support.
That said, Pappas adds:
Our greatest asset in New York is that Sen. Addabbo is committed and fearless and is already laying the groundwork to move this bill next year.
First, New York Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., D-Queens, needs to win reelection. The incumbent, who’s held the office since 2008, faces Republican challenger Danniel S. Maio on Nov. 8.
What the Indiana Study Says About Retail Casinos
Howard Glaser, Global Head of Government Affairs and Legislative Counsel, Light and Wonder (LNW), chose to express his thoughts about the Indiana-focused research. Las Vegas-based LNW provides products and services to online and land-based gambling operators.
“Important report released today: iGaming No Threat to Indiana casino industry,” the LNW leader wrote on LinkedIn.
Nine pages of the report examine the possible impact of iGaming on Indiana’s gambling industry, from retail casinos to horse racing. The finding is, “Spectrum does not expect iGaming to negatively impact Indiana casino revenues.”