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Simon Deloit April 16, 2019 3 min read
Indiana’s Sports Betting Bill at Crossroads in Senate
- SB 552 clears House of Representatives
- Bill drops mobile wagering provision
- Gary riverboat casinos to be moved inland
Indian continues to move closer to the legalization of its sports betting industry. After clearing the House, the bill is now on its way to the Senate where it will stand another vote.
Indiana Prepares to Vote Sports Betting Bill in Senate
SB 552 has successfully cleared the House of Representative on Monday, April 15. With this, the bill is progressing to the Upper House where it will have to garner the support of the senators. The House threw an overwhelming support for the legislation, with 78 Representative voting in favor and only 15 casting a vote against.
The bill has been moving between the two states of legislature in the past few months. Initially introduced in February, SB 552 has had to be amended several times and the latest version of the draft seems to exclude mobile betting.
Lawmakers seem to be lining themselves up against any hints of online betting of any sort despite the overwhelming results in places, such as New Jersey. Just in March, the state accepted 80% of all sports wagers online.
However, Indiana operates by its own laws. The state already offers land-based casinos which have bene pulling customers from across the state border in Kentucky. Should SB 552 get the go-ahead in the Senate, Indiana will be expanding in new and highly profitable vertical.
Again, attracting customers from across the border will be a by-product of successfully passed legislation. Sports betting will be taxed at a mild 9.5% of the operator’s revenues. Operators will also get a very light entry fee, having to only pay $10,000 instead of the originally intended $100,000.
All licenses and regulation will be overseen by the Indiana Gaming Commission. The bill also features a provision which focuses on the riverboat casinos located in Gary. In order to move inland, the casino will have to pay the staggering $100 million.
Why Not Mobile Betting After All?
Sponsored by Sen. Jon Ford, the bill is expected to get all the approval it needs in the Upper House. However, one provision that is missing is mobile wagering. According to Sen. Ford believes that he might have a chance to re-introduce online wagering in the Senate, his natural stomping grounds.
After all, it was the House Public Policy Committee that took out the online gambling provision out of the equation. It’s worth noting, though, that lawmakers seem to be mostly focused on the Gary riverboat casinos, relocating the properties to Terre Haute and Vigo County.
Indiana will have to decide quickly as the legislative session is expected to officially end on April 29, although some sources have cited earlier dates as well. SB 552 is hanging in the balance and Sen. Ford will have to pull support from his fellow senators to see the bill clear.