Indiana could become part of the several states which have already made sports betting legal, following the Interim Study Committee on Public Policy’s unanimous decision to recommend to local lawmakers to consider bringing some changes to the state’s existing gambling legislation.
Earlier in October, the above-mentioned committee voted to recommend sports betting legislation to be rolled in the state. The Committee’s decision comes following the US Supreme Court’s decision to lift the federal ban on sports betting activities, which was announced in May 2018.
However, the sports betting legalization process in Indiana may face some hurdles on the way to becoming law. The panel chairman, Republican Representative Ben Smaltz, said that his major concerns are related with both the regulations and the funding of sports betting in the state.
Sara Tait, the Executive Director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, however, does not see any reasons for sports betting to be kept out of the legal gambling landscape of the state. She has commented on the matter, saying that sports betting was a form of gambling which had been successfully regulated for years in other countries, so it would not be impossible for the state of Indiana to implement the necessary changes.
Sports Betting Could Bring US$56 Million in the First Year if Legalized
According to an analysis prepared for the Indiana Gaming Commission by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, sports betting could bring an additional US$466 million to the state annually by the fifth year in case that the Indiana General Assembly give the green light to the changes. The forecast includes the expected sports betting revenue from both land-based and online betting, and both direct and indirect economic impact has been taken into account.
The analysis was prepared by the research firm was based on House Bill 1325, which was officially presented to local legislators in the 2018 legislative session.
According to the forecast prepared by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, mobile bets made through computers and smartphones would account for 57% of sports betting. The study also found that the mobile sports betting market could increase to 68% by the fifth year of sports betting legalization.
In case that Indiana legislators make a decision to legalize sports betting on the territory of the state, retail and online wagers combined could contribute more than US$56 million to the local economy over the first year. Estimates showed that the retail sports betting sector would account for US$30.1 million in the first year. By the fifth year of sports betting legalization, the sports betting industry could bring US$256 million to the state on an annual basis.
On the other hand, Eilers and Krejcik Gaming has provided some estimates for the possible sports betting tax revenue that could be brought to the state by the industry. Assuming a 9.25% tax rate on sports betting gross revenue, plus licensing fees that could be paid by operators, the state of Indiana could get US$23.5 million in sports betting tax revenues every year by the fifth year.