Huge changes seem to be headed to Indiana’s gaming industry – it is possible that next year, we could finally have legalized sports betting in the state. This follows from last Friday’s summer study committee where the Hozier State’s lawmakers unanimously voted to recommend the legalization of sports wagering during the next legislative session. It has been about 5 months since the United States Supreme Court repelled PASPA and lifted the federal ban on sports betting but it is certainly not too late for Indiana to join the party.
The issue which was brought up by State Rep. Alan Morrison, a Republican with Brazilian descent, during the summer study committee. Mr. Morrison wants the state’s casinos to be able to offer “what they can”, especially when it comes to sports betting, something that he believes will keep them competitive. The lawmaker has been working on legislation aimed at legalizing sports betting, which will encompass both online and mobile betting.
The committee also went on to discuss possible security considerations for sports betting, most of which revolved around the registration of persons in online casinos with multiple forms of identification documents. This is to prevent both identity theft for gambling purposes as well as underage gambling, the latter being one of the most pressing concerns in the country’s gambling industry. In addition to these, the issue of problem gambling was also brought up with the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling saying that they are neutral is as far as the legalization of sports betting is concerned, but not failing to express concerns that problem gambling will eventually crop up.
Christina Gray, the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling’s executive director hopes that the lawmakers will consider the inclusion of resources to deal with the organization’s concerns. One of these would be the channeling of a percentage (1 percent, according to Gray) of the gaming tax revenue to the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction.
$466 Million in Economic Impact
According to report that has recently been released by, Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, a gambling research firm, legal sports betting in the state could generate up to a whopping $466 million within the first five years of the industry’s launch. The firm’s involvement is somewhat more proof that the state is very serious about the legalization of sports books – it was enlisted by the Indian Gaming Commission earlier this year and tasked with compiling a comprehensive report on the impact that the legalization of sports betting would have on the state.
The report revealed that, if legalized, the retail and mobile sports betting industries could bring in up to $56.2 million in direct economic impact within the first year. In five years, the number is projected to rise to $256 million in direct economic impact. Also included in the firm’s report is a revelation that mobile sports betting might take the center stage and become the main driver of Indiana’s betting market.
Eilers and Krejcik’s report’s recommendation was that the state should legalize sports betting as soon as next year during the next legislative session. Apparently, the risks of delaying the process might be too high for the state to bear – these include increased competition from other states, economic loss as well as further growth of the sports betting black market.