Indiana Governor blocks horse racing wagering bill

12 May 2015

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has opted to veto a bill that would have expanded wagering on horse racing in the US state to include online betting activities.

Bill HEA 1270 would have allowed for Advance Deposit Wagering and expanded horse racing betting to not only land-based activity but also by electronic means.

However, Governor Pence opted to block the bill, citing his long-term opposition to online gaming as the main reason behind his decision.

“This legislation is contrary to my long-time position against online gaming,” Governor Pence said.

“Advance Deposit Wagering, not currently permitted in Indiana, would also violate my position on expanding gaming here in Indiana.”

Despite having vetoed the Advance Deposit Wagering bill, Governor Pence did allow for two other gambling-related bills to pass without his signature.

HEA 1540 enables riverboat casinos to move on land within their current footprint, as well as outlining procedures for legislative ratification of a tribal gaming compact negotiated between the Governor and the Pokagaon Band of the Potawatomi Indians.

In addition, Governor Pence has given his approval to SEA 252, which will increase per diem for Horse Racing Commission members, allow the Commission to use breed development funds to promote horse racing, and codifies current standards regarding days of racing as previously established by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

“From early in the legislative process, I made it clear that I would not stand in the way of reforms that would allow these businesses to remain competitive with surrounding states so long as it did not constitute an expansion of gaming in Indiana,” Governor Pence said.

“HEA 1540 and SEA 252 meet this standard and, as such, I will permit them to become law without signature.”

Governor Pence also opted to sign SEA 327, which relates to charity gaming at schools, churches, veterans organisations and police and fire departments.

Meanwhile, Kanasas has moved a step closer to legalising daily fantasy sports after a bill that would allow real-money fantasy sports activities was passed to State Governor Sam Brownback.

Passed by the House last week, Bill HB 2155 covers fantasy sports as well as other gaming issues such as bingo and lottery.

Governor Brownback will now consider the bill before giving the green light for  legalisation in the US state.

Related article: Indiana latest US state to consider sports betting regulation