Indiana betting bill heads to Senate after House approval

16 April 2019

The Indiana House of Representatives has voted through a bill that would legalise certain forms of sports betting in the US state, with the bill now returning to the Senate for further debate.

SB552 was approved with 78 Representatives voting in favour and 15 against, following a series of amendments in recent weeks. It will now return to the upper house of the state legislature, which passed the bill in February this year. With a range of amendments made in the House, there is scope for significant changes to the legislation before it may be put to Governor Eric Holcomb for final approval. 

Indiana’s current legislative sessions runs to April 29, giving the state less than two weeks to pass the bill into law.

Among the recent amendments, made earlier this month 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 is currently set at $10,000 (£7,640/€8,840), down from $100,000 that had been proposed, while 3.3% of tax revenue collected from sports betting revenue would be used to address problem gambling in Indiana.

The Indiana Gaming Commission would regulate the market and have the power to issue temporary licences to allow operators to conduct business under certain circumstances.

The current bill also includes a measure whereby the riverboat casino in Gary, Indiana, would need to pay a fee of $100m to proceed with a planned move onto land. A new casino would also be permitted to open in Terre Haute.

However, the bill does not include any reference to mobile wagering in the state. Last month, Indiana’s House Public Policy Committee removed language that would have permitted such activities and lawmakers are yet to re-introduce these measures.

Should the bill gain final approval, Indiana would launch its legal sports betting market on September 1 this year.

Image: Andreas Faessler