The proliferation of legalized sports betting in the United States is making its way to Indiana where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into a law on Wednesday that makes the Hoosier State the latest to authorize wagering on sports.
Under HB 1015, bettors can wager online using apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel and not have to be physically present at casino.
This provision had been previously excluded when initially passed by Indiana’s House but then was changed at the urging of bill-sponsor Sen. Mark Messmer, who had lobbied that restricting online betting could potentially limit how much revenue Indiana generated from legalized sports betting.
The amended bill was passed by both the House and Senate on April 24, just hours before the Indiana’s General Assembly was set to end for the 2019 legislative session. The vote in favor was 59-36 in the House and 37-12 in the Senate.
Indiana joins a growing number of states that have legalized sports betting since last May when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that banned sports betting outside of Nevada. In the 11 months following that ruling, operational sportsbooks have opened in Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
Arkansas and New York have already approved legislation to permit sports betting and are expected to have operational sportsbooks by the end of the year. And lawmakers in nearly 30 other states have introduced various bills that would permit wagering on sports.
How Indiana will regulate online betting is similar to the law in New Jersey where online betting has been a boon to its gaming industry. New Jersey is second to Nevada in revenue collected through legal sports gaming, with more than 80 percent of the total amount wagered in the state generated from online betting.
States that either do not allow or restrict online betting with provisions such as requiring a person be on-site at a casino to wager have had difficulty meeting initial revenue expectations. Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia are each at least one-fourth below monthly revenue projections.
There is no exact timeframe on when Indiana casinos, racinos and off-track betting parlors will have its sportsbooks operational as the Indiana Gaming Commission still needs to set regulatory policies. However, bettors in Indiana might be able to place wagers by September and the start of the 2019 NFL season.
HB 1015 calls for a 9.5 percent tax rate on adjusted gross revenues generated from sports betting. It does not prohibit wagering on Indiana-based professional or collegiate teams or events, and anyone wishing to place a wager must be at 21.