Can players in Indiana expect online casinos this year? Why are state legislators reversing course on legalizing iGaming in the state? Read to find out.
State legislators in Indiana have introduced a new bill that would legalize online gambling in the state.
House Bill 1406 was introduced last week by state Rep. Alan Morrison (R-Brazil). The bill seeks to legalize all forms of online casino gambling as long as the online casinos are partnered with one of the state’s land-based casinos.
State Senator Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) has introduced the Senate’s version of the bill.
Indiana has 14 casinos and racinos around the state that online casinos could partner with. These land-based casinos have been shut down or are operating at minimum capacity due to the current pandemic. This has led many in the casino industry of the state to see record revenue loss. Likewise, the state tax revenue generated by the industry has also caused the state to seek out other means of revenue or be forced to slash essential services and programs Indianans depend on.
The state’s land-based casinos would need to first apply for an interactive gaming license. This would cost them an upfront fee of $500,000 (plus a $50,000 yearly renewal fee), but the casino would be allowed to offer up to three individually branded online casinos.
The online casinos themselves would be managed by third party vendors, and those vendors will have to apply for a separate license in order to operate in the state. These will cost the vendors an upfront fee of $100,000 with an annual renewal fee of $25,000.
All of these licenses would also be subjected to an additional 18% tax based upon adjusted gross revenue.
Should the measure pass, all tax revenue produced would be split up between the State General Fund (83.3%) and a revenue-sharing account (16.7%).
The money from the General Fund would go towards specific programs in the state including Indiana’s Addiction Services Fund. This fund helps pay for research, education and treatment efforts for problem gambling and addiction.
The funds in the revenue-sharing account would be distributed to county and city governments where the land-based casinos are physically located.
As mentioned, COVID-19 has impacted state economies in a negative way with many states seeing huge losses in overall revenue. Rather than slash important services like education and transportation, some states like Indiana are seeking other means of revenues.
Indiana has already seen high levels of success in terms of sports wagering. In the month of December, sports wagering generated $2.3 million in tax revenue alone, and for the year the industry resulted in a whopping $13.2 million for the state.
Initial estimates expect the iGaming industry to produce between $8.6m and $17.2m in new state taxes for fiscal year 2022.
The iGaming industry in the US has seen huge success in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Michigan is expected to go live with online casinos this Friday. And now, Connecticut, Indiana, and other states are wanting their piece of the pie too.
As more states move towards legalization, we can only expect even more to also seek to do so. The gaming industry has needed to adapt during these times, and thankfully they and the states they are in are seeing success thanks to online casinos.
At this point, it’s just a question of “Which state is next?”
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