A number of states in the United States of America have already legalized sports betting and many more are considering doing the same in the near future. There has always been an equal measure of laxity in some states when it comes to the legalization of sports betting and one of them happens to be the state of Indiana. Apparently, this all about to change since the Hoosier State seems to be ready to finally consider a discussion about sports betting. If history is anything to go by, this represents a monumental milestone for the state’s potential sports betting industry.
One of the biggest highlights of 2018 was the United States Supreme Court ruling that effectively lifted the federal ban on sports betting and set off a money grab that is still running its course. Before the ruling, the only state with legal sports betting was Nevada which had sportsbooks long before the United States government banned sports betting in the country. In the wake of the ruling, a number of states including New Jersey, West Virginia, Mississippi, Delaware, and Pennsylvania have made tremendous strides in as far as sports betting is concerned. It is estimated that more than twenty states will have legal and regulated sports wagering industries before the end of 2019.
What’s in Store for Indiana?
As it stands, Indiana hosts a total of 10 casinos, nine of which are on the Ohio River, or on Lake Michigan. The state therefore already receives hundreds of millions in dollars every year in casino tax revenues. As such, the sports betting industry might just be a way of getting even more revenue from the already very lucrative gaming industry in the state. It is estimated that revenue from sports betting could bring in as much as $50 million and this could be used to fund various infrastructure and educational programs in Indiana.
The Indiana Legislature is currently considering a bill that aims to have sportsbooks legalized in the state. In fact, the Senate’s Interim Study Committee on Public Policy voted to recommend the bill be forwarded to the Senate for a full vote but even then, there is still a lot that needs to be done especially by lobbyists and government officials. The Indiana Gaming Commission has made the first step by hiring a consultant to study the potential effects of sports betting on the state.
Right now, the biggest obstacle seems to be the House of Representatives who have not been shy to express strong opposition. Even though most cities in the state want the sports betting facilities to be established within their casinos, the rural areas are not so open to the idea of gambling citing a number of concerns. According to residents of rural areas, the state already has enough gambling.