Indiana Online Casino Bill Shattered Before It Came Off the Ground, Again

This is the third year since Indiana launched the idea to legalize online casinos. The project hardly gets off the ground. The reason for the project not to leave the ground this year will be blamed on a flawed fiscal impact statement delivered by the Indiana Legislative Services Agency.

Senator Jon Ford was not happy about it, describing the fiscal as a joke. He went further to say the fiscal impact statement was probably the worst document to come from the legislative services. Sen. Ford drafted HB1536 alongside Representative Ethan Manning.

Biased Fiscal Impact Statement

The financial impact document cautioned that online casinos would affect land-based casino revenue by at least 30 percent. The document further explains that online casinos would displace several gambling activities at land-based casinos. It also explains that the land-based revenue would be affected by over 30 percent in a gaming market that is saturated like Indiana.

Ford thinks the financial analysis of HB1536 is biased. He said that the fiscal analysis was based on the UNLV Gaming Research and Review Journal of 2011. He went ahead to note that the online casino industry had not fully launched in 2011 for the Indiana Legislative Services Agency to base their research on the bill on the review.

Sen. Ford also noted that the agency did not look at other five studies conducted since 2011. He noted that the agency was only interested in looking at a study that supported its thought that having online casinos was a bad idea.

Ford might be right considering the findings from the Spectrum Gaming Group. The group conducted a study in 2022 for the Indiana Gaming Commission, giving a different analysis from what the Indiana Legislative Services Agency claims.

Spectrum Gaming Group found that the introduction of iGaming had not cannibalized the revenue of land-based casinos. The group`s report supported this analysis by pointing to in-person gaming in West Virginia and Delaware. Spectrum Gaming Group concluded its research by saying that the introduction of iGaming would have little impact on land-based casino revenue in Indiana.

Indiana Casinos Are Not Worried About Cannibalization

Furthermore, Indiana casinos are also not worried about cannibalization. These casinos should be the ones concerned that their revenue will drop.

Yet, only one of the casinos under the Casino Association of Indiana is worried about it. Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort and its parent company Churchill Downs are the only subjects worried about cannibalization.

The CEO of the Casino Association of Indiana, Matt Bell, representing eight casinos including Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort expressed his disappointment about the financial report from the Legislative Service Agency.

Matt noted that the predicted revenue for online casinos was low. He also highlighted that the cannibalization number was higher than what Spectrum reported to the state`s gaming board.

Bell is not giving up. He said that the casino association would take up the role of educating lawmakers on cannibalization. He is still hopeful about online casinos in the state.

The casino association plans to use real market data to acquaint the Legislative Services Agency. The CEO believes that there is a research group out there that would help with the same.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.