Legal Online Casino Gaming Could Generate $500m in Indiana

A screen broadcasts a virtual roulette table. Valery Hache / AFP)

Indiana could benefit from $500 million in additional tax revenue over the next five years if it legalizes online casino gaming, according to a new report.

A bill seeking to usher in legal online casino gaming – known as iGaming – has been filed in the Hoosier State, and it could receive a House Public Policy Committee Hearings. The bill, HB 1356, would introduce an 18% tax on iGaming revenue.

The iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA) has crunched the numbers and projected that the Hoosier State could bring in around $420 million in iGaming revenue in 2023. The state would earn $76.6 million in tax revenue that year.

The association forecasts that revenue in Indiana would rise to $539.4 million in 2024, resulting in $97 million in tax. It projects $575.8 million for 2025, $599.2 million for 2026 and $611.5 million for 2027.

Indiana would earn more than $100 million per year in tax revenue, bringing the total tax revenue to more than $500 million in the first five years.

Protects Online Players with Regulatory Safeguards

The report argues that the introduction of iGaming would not cannibalize revenue from land-based casinos in Indiana. It claims that iGaming would supplement retail casino revenue, driving new tax income for the state.

The Hoosier State has had legal online sports betting for more than a year, so the framework for online casino gaming is already in place.

“Indiana already has the experience and infrastructure in place through online sports betting to support iGaming,” said John Pappas, advocacy director at the iDevelopment and Economic Association, a non-profit association that aims to expand the US online gaming industry.

READ MORE: New Jersey Online Casino Revenue Surpasses $100m

“Without even realizing it, Indiana consumers are using illegal online gaming sites that provide no consumer protections and zero state tax revenue. The state’s lawmakers can meet consumer demand by establishing a legal, competitive market that benefits the state economy and protects online players with regulatory safeguards.”

The association used figures from regulated markets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, Connecticut and Nevada to make its projections, based on the size of Indiana’s population and GDP.

Keep Hoosier Entertainment Dollars in the State

The Casino Association of Indiana commissioned the study from the iDevelopment and Economic Association.

“iGaming in Indiana will modernize our industry and keep us competitive with our neighboring states that seek to extract Hoosier customers and Hoosier entertainment dollars from our state,” said Matt Bell, executive director at the Casino Association of Indiana.

READ MORE: Indiana’s Sports Betting Handle Topped $460m in December

“We partnered with iDEA Growth for many reasons. (…) is a professional organization and the gold standard in the iGaming industry. We mutually agree that the iGaming market presents Indiana with an opportunity to expand our current regulated environment in a positive way, without impacting the land-based gaming revenue generated in the state.

Just as mobile sports betting has grown the overall revenues for our industry, iGaming will enhance our connection with existing customers and enable us to meet new ones in ways never before possible.”

Two Rival Bills

The Indiana casino industry has voiced its support for HB 1356, which would pave the way for a modern online gaming industry in the state.

Rep. Douglas Gutwein, a Republican for Francesville in Salem Township, introduced HB 1356. It has already had its first reading from the Committee on Public Policy.

READ MORE: US Casino Industry Reports Second Highest Monthly Trading Figures

A separate bill from Rep. Alan Morrison, a Republican for Brazil in Clay County, HB 1337, also seeks to legalize iGaming in the state and it has an identical 18% revenue tax requirement, but the association’s report focused on HB 1356, which has gained approval from the industry.

The legislative session ends on March 14 in Indiana, so the bills will need to move quickly through both chambers if one is to gain approval.