The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for individual states to legalize sports gambling by ruling in favor of New Jersey and eliminating the Professional Amateur SportsProtection Act (PASPA) on May 14, 2018.
However, the state of Indiana may not have legalized sports betting until the summer of 2019 at the earliest.
Indiana sports betting status
Several states passed or created legislature in advance of a positive SCOTUS ruling and many are already making money off this budding industry. Indiana was one of 19 states to sign an amicus brief in support of New Jersey’s case, with Republican Alan Morrison leading the charge.
Morrison’s attempts to introduce bills ahead of May 2018 gained little traction, but there was movement in August when the Indian Gaming Commission hired a consulting firm to a two-year contract, asking Ellers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, to crunch the numbers on a potential sports gambling market.
While the Indiana state legislation doesn’t meet until January of 2019, lawmakers held a summer session and Morrison, along with Senator Jon Ford have continued to lobby for the legalization of sports betting before Ellers & Krejcik complete the two-year study on the potential industry.
Their bill, which was introduced early in 2018, calls for a $500,000 initial licensing fee from casinos that want to hold live sports betting. It also would impose a wagering tax of 9.25 percent, which would bring between $3 and $18 million annually to the state of Indiana.
The key component of the bill is the ample 1% integrity fee that would be remitted to the governing body of each sporting event. Most states have been unwilling to negotiate with pro sports leagues on integrity fees, so Indiana could have support from the MLB, NFL and NBA if this version of the bill passes.
The fact that the NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis may create complications. Yet Indiana became the second state in the nation to pass legislation regulating daily fantasy sports despite the presence of the NCAA. The NCAA was eventually able to ban DFS contests on college sporting events, but banning sports gambling in a particular state would be a much taller task, involving negotiations with the American Gaming Association.
With nearby states such as Iowa, Missouri and Michigan well ahead of Indiana in terms of legalizing sports gambling, the pressure is on for state legislators. Indiana has the infrastructure in place to provide live sports books within a calendar year with 13 casinos and racinos available to the state’s approximately 6.7 million residents.
Those optimistic enough to believe that sports betting will become legalized in Indiana by the end of 2019 can take solace in the idea that competition with other states will motivate legislators to move quickly and decisively towards regulating the industry.
Sports Betting FAQ
When will sports betting be legal in Indiana?
Any legislation that would legalize sports gambling in Indiana must be re-introduced when legislative sessions resume in January of 2019. Betting on sports could be legal by the summer of 2019.
Where can I place sports bets in Indiana?
Currently, nowhere. But there are 13 casinos and racinos that would become platforms for live sports betting if legislators pass a bill during their next session.
Can I bet on sports online in Indiana?
There is currently a ban on online sports gambling in Indiana. However, In a recent agreement the Boyd Gaming Corporation and Ladbrokes, GVC Holdings allowed MGM Resorts to offer online gambling platforms in 15 states, including Indiana. Online gambling could come to Indiana prior to the implementation of live sports books and offshore betting sites are already available for residents.
What sports teams could I bet on in Indiana?
Under the current proposal, residents would be able to bet on any professional and collegiate sports teams. However, the NCAA could lobby to restrict sports betting on collegiate sporting events.
Who would oversee Indiana sports betting?
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) would be a likely candidate to regulate and oversee the sports betting industry.
Can I get into trouble for placing bets with unregulated online sportsbooks before it’s legal in Indiana?
Yes, in order for a sportsbook to be legal it must be sanctioned by the state and placing bets with an unregulated bookkeeper can result in fines and potential jail time.