As the legislative rush continues in the United States as key deadlines approach, Indiana’s online casino hopes and dreams are dashed for yet another year as its casino legislation has perished.
What was Indiana’s iGaming bill?
The deadline for bills to advance out of committee in Indiana was 21st February, and Rep. Ethan Manning and Rep. Jennifer Meltzer’s HB 1536 has failed to do so. The bill sought to achieve the following:
“Interactive gaming. Authorizes the lottery commission to operate the sale of draw games and digital representations of scratch-off games over the Internet.
Authorizes the following persons to conduct interactive gaming:
(1) A licensed owner of a riverboat.
(2) An operating agent operating a riverboat in a historic hotel district.
(3) A permit holder conducting gambling games at the permit holder’s racetrack.
Provides for the licensure of persons providing services and equipment for managing and conducting interactive gaming. Specifies requirements for the conduct of interactive gaming.
Imposes an adjusted gross receipts tax of 20% on interactive gaming. Provides for revenue sharing to cities and counties in which casinos are operated. Makes an appropriation. Makes conforming and technical changes.”
Even if the aforementioned legislation had passed through the House, the Republican Sen. President Rodric Bray had already suggested he would not support the proposal, and a partner bill was never even proposed in the Senate despite apparent support.
It’s a significant blow for Indiana’s iGaming dream to be over this quickly, with commercial operators suggesting that the state was the ‘favorite’ to legalize iGaming in 2023.
What’s the gambling landscape in IN?
Indiana sports betting launched back in 2019, and the state has taken over $10 billion handle since its inception. The state operates four land-based casino resorts, with six riverboat casinos and two racinos. There is also one tribal run casino in Indiana.
This is yet another year where iGaming legislation has failed to even make it out of committee, although this year a companion bill for the House bill was not even passed, arguably showing signs of regression.
Sports betting legislation continues to pass at a far quicker rate than online gaming.
What are the biggest hopes for legalization in 2023?
New York online casino will undoubtedly remain the biggest hope for commercial operators this year, looking to offset the 51 percent tax rate on NY mobile sports betting with a lower tax (but inherently lucrative) online gaming bill. Rep. Joseph Addabbo has made it abundantly clear that there will be significant opposition, however.
Away from iGaming, sports betting in Texas is being pencilled as a key market for 2023 with legislators optimistic that the bills could reach the November ballots. Sports betting bills reaching ballot are by no means a free pass, however, as California sports betting showed in 2022. With rules around legislature, a failure at ballot means CA mobile sports betting will be off the menu until 2024 at the earliest.