Gambling Expansion on the Table in Indiana
Summary: Legislation involving a gambling expansion has emerged in Indiana, including the possibility of sports betting.
This week, it was announced that new legislation has made its way to the House in Indiana, seeking to expand upon the state’s gambling industry. The House Committee on Public Policy is set to hear the new legislation, S552. The bill will be reviewed next week according to information provided by Ben Smaltz, the committee chair.
According to industry sources, Mr. Smaltz stated that the bill will be heard and stakeholders will be able to provide input along with the public. The committee will listen to what the bill is seeking to legalize and make adjustments as needed. The first step is to hear the measure and then changes or voting can commence.
The legislature in Indiana will be finished with their current session by April 29th, so little time remains to review the gambling legislation. H 1363 is a bill that the House has introduced as well, one that covers sports betting legislation. This bill died earlier in the session so this new option is the only one currently on the table that would see sports betting come to life in the state.
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S 552 Details
With S 552, the bill covers several gambling details. The bill was able to move through the Senate with a vote of 38 to 11, so there is promise that the measure will also move through the House just the same. It is believed that some bills attached to the legislation will be removed though before the legislation moves forward.
The bill covers several issues such sports betting, as well as allowing several casinos in the state to move their location. As far as sports betting is concerned, the committee chair leader Smaltz is in favor. This could help the measure move forward.
The state already has 12 casinos that are licensed for operations and two racinos. The casino industry is the fourth largest in the United States regarding the generation of tax revenues. The state follows behind only Pennsylvania, New York and Nevada. For the fiscal year of 2017, the state was able to produce over $600 million in tax revenues.
The new legislation would allow the casinos as well as racinos and off-track betting parlors to apply to provide sports betting services. According to Smaltz, it’s an easy reach to allow these facilities to offer such gaming as it could be compared to adding a video game or table game.
The bill would allow for the state to offer mobile wagering regarding sports betting. Players would only be able to take part though if they register for an account in person or via smartphone device. Smaltz is one lawmaker who is concerned about the mobile gaming component. He wants to hear what the public thinks about mobile wagering before agreeing to move forward.
The lawmaker wants to see how the public feels about overall mobile gambling as it would be allowed across the state. He feels that some regions would not want to take part in the option. However, other lawmakers see mobile wagering as a necessity.
There are areas of the state that are further from casinos. Allowing mobile wagering would open the option up to more bettors as they would not have to be physically present at a casino to be able to place a sports wager.
It will be interesting to see how the legislation develops in the coming weeks. With only just over a month before the current session ends, lawmakers will have to act quickly to make any changes if they are to occur and the legislation is to pass into law.