Indiana online casino bill dies in committee
Introduced to the house by Republican representative Ethan Manning, House Bill 1536 aimed to open up the state’s legal internet casino industry by September 2023.
Among other measures, the bill would legalise online poker and allow the state’s casinos and Hoosier Lottery to offer online versions of games.
The bill proposed to tax online casino revenue at 20% and allocate 10% of the tax money to the Addiction Services Fund.
However, a negative fiscal report by the Indiana Legislative Services Agency warned of possible cannibalisation of the industry, citing “loss of tax revenues from displacement of gaming activities at brick-and-mortar casinos and racinos”.
The report noted that online casino would potentially reduce retail casino/racino AGR by $134-$268 million (£112m-£223m/€127m-€253m) each year.
This sparked fears that legalisation would come at the cost to the state’s existing domestic industry. While some have argued that the fiscal statement relied on outdated data, ultimately it did not matter.
The critical 21 February deadline – by which time the bill must be called for a hearing – passed without progress, meaning icasino will not progress this session.
The Hoosier state will now have to wait for 2024 to reopen the proposition as the state’s 2023 legislation schedule ends in April.
If next year’s attempt is successful, the state could be seeing legal online casinos by autumn of 2024.