Indiana online casino bill fails to receive House committee vote

Indiana state flag with US flag
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A bill that could have legalised online casino operations in the US state of Indiana failed to receive a vote in the committee phase.

Last month, Rep. Ethan Manning filed legislation – HB 1536 – in the Indiana House of Representatives which would have allowed for both online casinos and poker sites and regulated online lottery under the Hoosier Lottery in the state.

The bill was waiting for a hearing in the Public Policy Committee. However, the legislation failed to receive a vote before the state’s House committee report deadline of 21 February.

HB 1536 proposed that brick-and-mortar gambling and sports betting operators in the state would also be eligible for an online casino and poker licence.

Operators would have to pay a $500,000 fee for a license, with an annual $50,000 renewal cost and would be subject to a 20 per cent tax. 

Online casinos would also only be limited to offering an annual amount of $10m in igaming promotional credit.

In regards to the online lottery section of the bill, it would have allowed for the online sale of draw games and online scratch-off games in the state.

A fiscal impact report by the Indiana Legislative Services Agency was included with the bill which stated online casinos would take away 30 per cent or more of the state’s retail casino revenue, referring to a 2011 UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal study.

This is despite the fact other studies on online casinos have been published since then, including one produced in 2022 by Spectrum Gaming Group for the Indiana Gaming Commission which stated that igaming would have little to no impact on retail casinos.

This is the third year in a row in which igaming legislation has failed in Indiana. Another bill can’t be introduced in the state now until 2024.