Indiana Lawmakers Take Fresh Look At iGaming

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 19, 2022 - Last Updated on January 28, 2022
Lawmakers Thinking About Change In Bill For Online Casinos In Indiana

Lawmakers in the Hoosier State will take another crack at legalizing iGaming in 2022.

HB 1356 and HB 1337 were filed in Indianapolis, aiming to legalize online casino games in Indiana. However, the goal remains if lawmakers can get a bill across the finish line.

All bills must cross over to the other chamber by Jan. 31.

Brief look at this Indiana gaming bill

HB 1356 was filed by Rep. Doug Gutwein and Rep. Ethan Manning. The republican lead bill calls for an 18% tax on gaming revenue, nearly double the amount taxed on Indiana sports betting.

Gutwein and Manning’s bill would allow casinos and racetracks to offer online casino games and will go into effect July 1. Furthermore, the bill also estimates iGaming could generate between $15.3 million and $30.5 million in tax revenue by the fiscal year 2023.

Other key points include:

  • Each casino can partner with three online brands.
  • $100,000 initial licensing fee, renewable annually for $25,000 for internet gaming operators.
  • Casinos and racetracks pay $500,000 for an online casino license, renewable annually for $50,000.
  • 3.33% of the state tax revenue goes to the Addiction Services Fund.

Inside HB 1337

State Rep. Alan Morrison, who authored HB 1337, also calls for an 18% tax rate. However, by FY 2025, Morrison’s bills only estimate tax revenue ranging between $8.7 million and $17.5 million.

By comparison, neighboring Michigan taxes online gaming revenue between 20% and 28% based on adjusted gross receipts.

Both bills have been sent to the Committee on Public Policy for discussion.

Potential roadblock

House committee chair Rep. Ben Smaltz wasn’t a fan of online sports betting back in 2019. Thus, the transition from Senate to House could be a challenge.

In 2019, Smaltz had this to say about online sports betting:

“I think having it available everywhere within the four walls of the state is a problem, and I think consumer protections are a problem. I don’t know why we wouldn’t have all casino games allowed to be played on a device if we are going to allow sports wagering on that device.”

Additionally, the Indiana legislative session ends on March 14, leaving little room for error.

Photo by F11photo / Shutterstock.com
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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