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Indiana Sports Betting Bill Heads To Governor's Desk

Bill Would Allow Mobile Sports Betting And Allow A Casino To Relocate From Gary To Terre Haute

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With time running out in the legislative session, the Indiana House and Senate passed a bill that would legalize sports betting in the Hoosier state.

Last week, on the final day of the session, the Senate passed HB 1015 by a 37-12 margin in and by 59-36 in the House.

On the same day that it was passed, leaders from both houses of the legislative branch, met and added mobile betting back into the legislation. It was taken out by the House when it passed the Senate’s version of the sports betting bill.

Rep. Ben Smaltz, a Republican, was the driving force behind stripping betting from the original legislation because he felt it was too much gambling expansion. House Speaker Brian Bosma told the Indianapolis Star that Smaltz’s concerns were irrelevant.

“It’s going on in our state right now anyway,” said Bosma. “People are utilizing offshores and generally illegal facilities to do so.”

The bill would allow sports betting on both professional and collegiate athletics at casinos, racinos and off-track betting parlors, as well as the aforementioned mobile wagers. Gambling on esports on sporting events with athletes under the age of 18 would not be allowed. Only those 21 and older are allowed to wager on sporting events.

There is a $100,000 initial fee for operators and a $50,000 annual renewal payment. Revenue would be taxed at 9.5 percent with a portion of that revenue funding problem gambling support and awareness.

The bill heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb. He should receive the bill this week and will have another week to sign the bill. He is expected to sign the bill.

Indiana joins Iowa and Montana as the front runners to become the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019. Both have sports betting bills on the desks of their respective governors.

According to a study from the Legislative Services Agency, sports betting in Indiana could generate more than $10 million in tax revenue in 2020.

The bill would also allow one of the two casino licenses in Gary owned by Spectacle Entertainment to move to Terre Haute. The owner of the new license would be decided through a bid.