Indiana gamblers may soon have access to online casino games, after Representative Alan Morrison filed a proposal to regulate the vertical.
Morrison’s House Bill 1406 would legalize all forms of online casino gambling, with master licenses available to the state’s land-based casinos.
A Senate counterpart is to be introduced by Jon Ford, one of the co-sponsors of the state’s sports betting legislation.
Each would have to apply for a dedicated interactive gaming license, which comes with an up-front fee of $500,000, then a $50,000 annual renewal fee. Licenseholders will be permitted to offer no more than three individually branded skins under this certification.
These skins can be managed by third party partners, which must apply for interactive gaming management service provider licenses. These come with a $100,000 up front fee, then a $25,000 annual renewal.
Licensees would then be subject to an 18% tax on adjusted gross revenue, almost double the 9.5% rate set for sports betting.
This would be split between the State General Fund – which receives 83.3% of the tax generated – with 16.7% going to a revenue-sharing account.
Each year 3.33% of the money deposited in the General Fund would then be donated to Indiana’s Addiction Services Fund. A portion of this sum must go towards research, education and treatment efforts for problem gambling and addiction.
The 16.7% going to the revenue-sharing account will be distributed between the cities and counties in which each licensed casino is based.
Should the bill pass into law, the Indiana Gaming Commission would begin accepting license applications from July 1. The market would then open for business from September 1, 2021.
The launch of legal igaming in Indiana is expected to generate between $8.6m and $17.2m in new state taxes for the fiscal year to 30 June, 2022 (FY2022).
This, according to HB1407’s accompanying fiscal note, would rise to between $42.9m to $85.8m in the year to 30 June, 2026 (FY2026).
Legal igaming could displace some activity from brick-and-mortar and riverboat venues, however.
As a result legalization could cut land-based tax take by between $6.6m and $12.9m in FY2022, rising to between $32.8m and $64.5m in FY2026.
The House version of the bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Policy for further scrutiny.
The state’s sports betting market, meanwhile, has grown rapidly. Handle for December reached $313.1m – almost double the prior year’s total – with adjusted gross revenue rising to $24.3m.