January 6, 2020 3 min read


Eric Holcomb Says Legalizing Gambling Did Indiana Good

Following the legislation of sports betting in Indiana, activity has been picking up with projections for sports betting handle reaching $1.8 billion and beyond.

Governor Holcomb Optimistic about Indiana’s Sports Betting Prospects

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed H 1015 back in May, 2019, approving the launch of the sports betting industry in the state. On September 1, the Governor placed the first wager, a $10 bet on the Indianapolis Colts, and even though his wager turned out to be a bust, Holcomb remained optimistic about the future.

Indiana became the 13th state to legalize sports betting, after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down a federal law dated back to 1992. PASPA, as the piece of legislation is known, was defeated with the help of New Jersey, the state which spearheaded the legal proceedings against the legislation and had reportedly spent $8 million to do so.

Speaking to The Times, Holcomb said that he would bet on the Colts to make it into the NFL playoffs, no matter what. “I’m going to bet on them next year too,” Holcomb said. Yet, the governor is just one of the many who place sports wagers in Indiana.

A total handle of $273 million has been wagered on various events since November, 2019. One of Indiana’s specific advantages is that it allows mobile betting, which is often seen as a way to boost interest and the activity.

In November alone, Indiana’s residents wagered estimated $147.3 million, $833,361 of which went back to the state in the form of various taxes, the Indiana Gaming Commission said. With not a full year of sports betting on the cards, a simple extrapolation – based on the November figures – puts the annual handle at around $1.8 billion.

As we are running up to the Super Bowl, this amount is expected to continue rising with another bonanza due in March, when the collegiate basketball season begins with March Madness.

Indiana Beats Illinois to the Punch

Indiana has been good at organizing itself. Unlike Illinois, which passed the law on June 28 and still has no regulatory framework or licensed operators, Indiana has been making the most of the moment.

Holcomb used the neighboring state’s situation to point out to his own state’s organization in the matter and ability to deliver results. He also pointed out the inherent benefits that came with launching a regulated industry:

“Consumers want convenience, and this industry is no different than any other. I like to brag about the state of Indiana for being a place of continuity and certainty and convenience.”

While happy with the pace of development, Holcomb is also cautious about any sudden developments. For the time being, Holcomb is content with sports betting alone, ruling out slots and poker.

However, once the full impact of the new gaming law is fully assessed, Holcomb – if still in office – could try to see an expansion move as well.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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