Indiana is close to becoming the next state with legal sports betting.
A revised bill, HB 1015, passed the Indiana legislature on Wednesday and as of Thursday morning it awaited only a signature from Gov. Eric Holcomb to become law.
The process for passing a betting bill in Indiana has been arduous.
On Monday, the Indiana Conference Committee met to vote on Bill S 552.
During this year's session, the two Indiana chambers passed conflicting versions of the bill and since the Senate had refused, that put S 552 in the conference committee.
The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Mark Messmer, made it known that statewide mobile betting was added to the final provisions, and indeed the bill which passed Wednesday included mobile betting.
The Indiana General Assembly bill states, in part: "Authorizes sports wagering at riverboats, racinos, a Vigo County casino, and satellite facilities. Provides for the administration and conduct of sports wagering."
The Indiana bill includes an array of provisions which features new casinos pending construction in Terre Haute and Gary.
The previous vote was passed on casino sites being the lone host of Indiana’s legal sports gambling. However, Messmer said the move to expand to mobile options, off the table until recently, had been agreed upon after the Monday meeting. The mobile provisions are key because the most successful sports betting measures, most notably in New Jersey, include mobile options.
"If you have sports betting without a mobile app platform, you don't really have a very usable tool," Messmer told the Associated Press.
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) would set regulations and start the process to approve the casinos for legal sports betting by July 1.
"They were optimistic they could have rules ready in time for the NFL season," Messmer said.
The new Terre Haute casino will be a popular bidding process for its new operator, which hasn’t been selected. Also, the new owner of the Gary casinos will move its spot on Lake Michigan as a casino boat to a regular casino near I-80 and I-94 in the heart of the city.
Plus two horse track casinos in centrally located Anderson and Shelbyville could see legal table games with dealers in house by next spring or summer.
Lastly, two Majestic Star Casino boats in Gary, being bought by Spectacle Entertainment, will have to spend a minimum of $150 million on a brand new casino in town and a $20 million fee from the state to make the move. The new spot will have space for 200 rooms in its hotel.
All in all, Indiana is squeezing out what power and leverage it has to get legal sports betting done. With mobile options and an influx of casinos in the state, Indiana looks likely to shake off its initial setbacks and get a sports betting law passed.