Amended Indiana sports betting bill heads to House floor

10 April 2019

Indiana’s House Ways and Means Committee has advanced a sports betting bill to the House floor, but with a number of further amendments.

Senate Bill 552 passed the latest Committee by a vote of 17-6 and will now head to the House floor for further debate. Should any more changes be required, the bill would return to the upper chamber before moving on the Governor’s office for sign-off.

The bill has already been amended a number of times in the legislature process, including at the House Public Policy Committee stage last month, having already gained approval from the Senate in February.

Among the latest amendments made by the House Ways and Means Committee is a measure to establish a tax rate of 9.5% of sports betting revenue for operators that secure a licence in the new market.

The licence fee has also been cut to $10,000 (£7,650/€8,870) from the $100,000 that had previously been set out, while 3.3% of tax revenue collected from sports betting revenue would be used to address problem gambling in Indiana.

Another amendment would allow the Indiana Gaming Commission, which would regulate the market, to issue temporary licences that would enable operators to conduct business under certain circumstances.

The proposed launch date for Indiana’s regulated sports betting market has also been pushed back by two months from July 1, 2019, to September 1.

However, the House Ways and Means Committee opted against introducing any amendments to bring back mobile sports betting to the bill. The House Public Policy Committee last month removed any language that would permit mobile sports wagering should the bill come into law.

SB 552 does not yet have a date for a hearing on the House floor, but Indiana’s current legislative session is only due to run until April 29, giving the state just under three weeks to pass the bill into law.

Image: Andreas Faessler