Digging deeper into the Indiana sports betting bill
Last May, Indiana was one of 19 states to sign an amicus brief in support of New Jersey during the SCOTUS ruling on the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
In August of 2018, Indiana Gaming Commission hired consulting firm Eilers & Krejcik to a two-year contract, the main goal of which was to advise on the possibilities of sports betting.
Now Bill “H 1015” has passed through the House after legislators settled on a couple of sticky issues to create a unified proposal for the Governor’s office.
Mobile wagering was a key issue for some legislators and that nearly killed the bill. House Public Policy Committee Chairman Ben Smaltz argued that widely available mobile wagering would compromise consumer protections.
After Smaltz struck down the online provision in April, legislators have come together in favor of a revised bill that allows for mobile wagering throughout the state. This bill will impose a reasonable 9.5% tax on revenue and leave the scope of betting and data sources to the discretion of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The bill would thus remove a provision that would allow for official league data for in-game wagering. It also does not include a 1% integrity fee that would go to professional sports leagues and cut into the state’s revenue.
On the flip side, there is no “hold harmless” provision for any of Indiana’s 13 casinos to ensure that they will be reimbursed if taxation is greater than their revenue from sports gambling. To help ensure the viability of those casinos, sportsbook providers will have to partner with land-based entities.
The bill requires a $100,000 fee for a vendor license, followed by $50,000 annual payments. Spectacle Entertainment will be charged $100M for the right to move two of its casinos from their riverfront locations in Gary, with one moving inland and one to Terre Haute.
The bill does not allow for gambling on esports or on amateur athletes under the age of 17, but NCAA events will be fair play despite the fact that the NCAA has its headquarters in Indianapolis.