Indiana considers sports betting bill
February 10, 2019 8:00 AM
by Staff & Wire Reports
A shake-up of Indiana’s gambling laws being debated could see legalizing sports betting as early as next year.
The proposal cleared a state Senate committee last week and comes as Indiana’s 13 casinos have largely seen years of declining revenue amid increased competition from surrounding states and tribal casinos.
If approved, the proposal would allow the state’s casinos to start sports betting in person or online starting in 2020 after receiving approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission. Wagers could be made on professional or collegiate sporting events, but not on high school or youth games. Those placing bets would have to be 21.
No big state tax revenue boon is anticipated from sports gambling, as other states have seen modest results . Bill co-sponsor Sen. Jon Ford of Terre Haute said tax revenue estimates range from $3 million to $18 million a year, but sports betting will be an important marketing tool for Indiana’s casinos.
Officials from the Indianapolis Colts and Indianapolis Motor Speedway were among those professional sports representatives backing the proposal.
In addition, there is a proposal to allow the state’s horse track casinos to offer table games with live dealers beginning later this year. Current law doesn’t let them do so until 2021. Those casinos can now only offer electronic games and expect live dealers will attract more gamblers.
Caesars Entertainment, which owns the Hammond casino and another just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, would get a boost from the plan for the two horse track casinos near Indianapolis that it bought last year.
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