Indiana’s Gaming Industry Supports Sports Betting Bill

indianaA sports betting bill that could bring legal and regulated sports wagering to Indiana was pre-filed just before the weekend. A House version of S-405 will be filed by Rep. Alan Morrison in the coming weeks. Morrison, who sponsored legislation pertaining to Daily Fantasy Sports in 2016, said that he hoped the final bill would also include mobile wagering.

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The Senate version of the bill reads: “Authorizes sports wagering at riverboats, racinos, and satellite facilities after the Indiana gaming commission determines that current federal prohibitions on sports wagering are no longer applicable. Provides for the administration, conduct, and taxation of sports wagering. Imposes initial and annual fees on a licensed owner, operating agent, or permit holder conducting sports wagering.”

Indiana’s gaming commission will be tasked with drawing up rules for sports betting in the state. The new industry will not ban collegiate events, and operators will be allowed to offer interactive sports betting as well. Operators will be charged $500,000 (or 1% of revenue) for a license and taxed at a rate of 9.25%.

In a recent interview, Morrison said that Indiana casinos are on board with the idea of introducing sports betting to their brands. He said that this was something casinos “would be very excited about.”

“They want to make sure some of the finer points are worked out and it lands where they are comfortable with,” he said. “But this is something that will have pretty good support from the industry in Indiana.”

Asked about the NCAA’s traditional stance against collegiate sports betting, Morrison said that he hoped that the Association would understand that restricting college bets in the state would be burdensome to Indiana’s facilities.

“It’s also important for the NCAA to understand that the landscape of gaming is changing throughout our country,” said Morrison. “I think they would hopefully have some understanding that Indiana would have rights just like the other states. Obviously one of the biggest events for sports wagering is March Madness. If they open it up to all 50 states, there will be gaming facilities in Ohio, in Michigan, in Illinois that are all doing it.”

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