Indiana Looking at New Online Casino Bill
August 28, 2020
After watching its gambling tax revenue dry up over the last four months due to the COVID19 pandemic, it looks like Indiana’s congress is ready to take a cue from states that allow online casino gambling. The legislature is currently preparing to look at a new online casino gambling bill.
It is worth noting that earlier this year, retail brick and mortar casinos in Indiana began taking retail and online sports bets after the state’s congress passed sports betting legislation in 2019. At the time said legislation was passed, discussions were already underway about the possibility of also legalizing online casino gambling. Those talks eventually stalled as the state sought refuge from the threat of the virus. Now that people are starting to get back to business, online gambling has quickly found its way back onto Congress’ docket.
At work on the bill is Indiana Senator Jon Ford who has revealed that he is near ready to present online casino gambling legislation. He is also ready to enthusiastically push the bill because he believes it is the next logical step for Indiana’s gambling industry. Much of his enthusiasm is being driven by the fact the state’s sports betting revenue is showing great promise despite the fact most major sports leagues are just getting back into action. He has also indicated there are concerns about the retail casino business because casinos are only allowed to operate at 50% capacity due to social distancing efforts.
According to Ford, he is looking to model Indiana's online casino industry after was has been put in place in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. By doing so, he is hopeful he can motivate the rest of Congress to get behind the bill sooner rather than later. If all were to go as planned, Indiana's residents could have access to online casino gambling sometime in early 2021.
Based on his current ideas, Ford anticipates that all 13 of Indiana's casinos/racinos would be allowed to apply for online casino gambling permits. A racino is a casino that operates in conjunction with one of Indiana's horse racing facilities. Under current laws, each of the state's casinos would be allowed to provide online casino gambling services with as many as three mobile partners.
Unfortunately for poker players, nothing regarding the possibility of legalizing online poker has yet received support from anyone in congress.