iGaming No Go in Indiana

Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Sports betting in Indiana has proven to be a resounding success but bringing online casino gambling to market has yet to make its appearance. Recent legislation is hoping to change that but right now it’s a stalemate.  

Mobile Casinos Still Unavailable 

Although a significant number of legislators are backing two bills that would allow mobile casino gambling in the Hoosier State, it appears those ambitious plans will have to wait until the next legislative session. House Bills 1337 and 1356 were the bills proposed with the former permitting riverboat casinos and racetracks to conduct interactive gaming while the latter limited online casino gambling to riverboats only.  

Senator Jon Ford is the primary mover and shaker on getting online casino gaming to market and noted the success of sports betting in his state, “Everyone’s pleasantly surprised with the success of sports wagering,” observed Ford. “A great percentage of revenue from sports wagering has come from online, so I think it pretty clearly shows the younger generation in Indiana really wants mobile gaming.” 

Half a Billion Dollars in Tax Revenue

iDEA Growth and Casino Association of Indiana commissioned a study that concluded the passage of online casino gambling would raise nearly half a billion dollars in new tax revenue which would naturally appeal to many lawmakers seeking to fill the state’s coffers. 

Unfortunately, the bills did not make it out of committee but that does not mean they won’t return in another form, sooner than later. 

“Those bills did not pass their committee by the deadline,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “However, language from those bills could potentially appear in other bills still going through the legislative process. So, there’s still a chance they could become law in some form.” 

February Numbers Dip 

Sports betting numbers in February have decreased from the previous month in states all across the nation. And it’s not because the public has grown tired of sports betting or lost their collective appetite. The simple fact is there are fewer sports to bet on, especially because the NFL winds down in February with only one game remaining on the schedule – the Super Bowl.  

Figures cited show an 18.2 percent decrease from January’s record haul: 

January 2022 – $500.139M (Total Handle) – $465.488M (Mobile Handle) – $35.572M (Revenue) 

February 2022 – $409.109M (Total Handle) – $385.498M (Mobile Handle) – $16.958M (Revenue) 

Change – Down 18.2% (Total Handle) – Down 17.2% (Mobile Handle) – Down 52.3% (Revenue) 

But it should also be noted that February of 2022 dwarfed February of 2021 with an increase of over 49 percent in total handle. March is expected to show an increase over February due to the March Madness college basketball tournament and the three extra days in the month to generate revenue.  

Because mobile sports operators are mandated to partner with land-based casinos there are opportunities for over 40 online sportsbooks in the Hoosier State but as of this writing, there are 14 licensed online sportsbooks in the state all paying 9.5 percent to the state on adjusted gross gaming revenue.