Online casino bill introduced in Indiana

A new bill that would bring online casino gambling to the state of Indiana has been introduced.

Lawmakers in Indiana have introduced a piece of legislation that could bring legal online casino gambling to the Hoosier State.

The new bill

The new legislation, HB 1406, was introduced earlier this week by Representative Alan Morrison and would legalise all forms of online casino gambling in the state of Indiana.

A counterpart bill is set to be introduced by Jon Ford, a previous co-sponsor of the state’s sports betting laws.

Under the legislation, master licenses would be made available to the state’s existing land-based casinos. The state’s venues would have to apply for a license for online casino gambling which would cost an initial $500,000 and then must be renewed annually for $50,000.

According to the legislation, licensees would be permitted to host no more than three individually branded online casino platforms under a single licence.

These online casino skins can be managed by third-party partners which must secure an interactive gambling management service provider license. These have an upfront cost of $100,000 and a $25,000 annual renewal fee.

Operators in the state would be subject to an 18% tax on gross revenue from online casino operation. This is almost double the 9.5% tax rate set for online sportsbooks in the state.

The tax revenue would then be split between the State General Fund and a revenue-sharing account, with 88.3% of tax revenue going towards the fund and 16.7% going to the revenue-sharing account.

Every year, 3.33% of the money deposited into the General Fund would then be put towards Indiana’s Addiction Services Fund. A chunk of this revenue must go towards research, education and treatment for problem gambling and addiction.

The money deposited into the revenue-sharing account will then be split between the cities and counties where each licensed casino is located.

If successful, the Indiana Gaming Commission would begin accepting licence applications from 1 July and could launch online casino operations by 1 September 2021.

Sports betting market continues to grow

The introduction of online casino legislation is the first step in expanding Indiana’s growing gambling market.

Sports betting went live in Indiana on 1 September 2019, at the Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago, the Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

According to the state regulators’ most recent statistical report, bettors in the state wagered $313.1m on sporting events in December, a new high for the Hoosier State.

December’s betting handle represented a 93.5% year-on-year increase and a 24.5% increase on the previous record of $251.4m wagered in November 2020.

Revenue amounted to $24.3m in December which was up 102.5% year-on-year but down from the $25.3m generated the previous month.

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