The jumping-off point for possible expansion of Indiana gambling is set. A comprehensive bill, adding several new gaming options to the legal landscape in the Hoosier State, will be up for debate in Indianapolis when legislators convene in 2023.
The bill would allow casinos in the state to offer online versions of poker, slots, and table games. It would also empower the Hoosier Lottery to expand its operations as well.
Indiana online casino bill on its way
Jake Garza of PlayIndiana has all the details of the forthcoming proposal. No legislation has been filed for the 2023 legislative term yet.
Garza says the language of the bill is the result of ongoing negotiations between power brokers in the state capitol. According to Garza, all the major details have been worked out. If that proves accurate, the bill could get some immediate attention in January.
Sen. John Ford and Rep. Ethan Manning will champion the bill in their respective chambers. Garza reports that those lawmakers have set a goal of having regulations in place by September 2023. Given the bill’s broad scope, it could have broad support.
What does the bill contain?
Among the major changes the bill proposes are:
- Indiana casinos and racetracks may apply for licenses to offer online slots and table games
- The same may also apply to licenses to offer poker games online
- Enables the Hoosier Lottery to sell online game tickets
The bill sets an acquisition price of half a million dollars for online gambling licenses for the casinos and tracks. Those would renew annually for $50,000. Licensees would pay 18% of their win from online gaming to the state.
The bill also earmarks 3.33% of those tax proceeds to support the Addiction Services Fund. Each licensee could contract with up to three managed service providers.
Given the number of online sports betting operators that already exist in the state, Indiana could be a competitive market for online gambling. That is, of course, assuming the state enacts this bill or another like it.
Could 2023 be the year Indiana gets more gambling options?
2023 will be the fourth consecutive year that Ford and Manning have attempted to expand online gambling in their state. In February, their proposals died in committee. At the time, Ford said other issues were more prevalent for the short 2022 session.
With 2023 featuring a longer term and issues like the COVID-19 pandemic no longer an immediate concern for the General Assembly, the prospects seem brighter. At the same time, the debate process in both bodies could modify the bill significantly.
While there’s no reason for Indianans to start warming up their devices just yet, there is cause for cautious optimism. If Ford and Manning get their wishes, online casino apps could launch in Indiana in just nine months.