After weeks of preamble and speculation, Rep. Ethan Manning finally filed his online casino legislation in the Indiana House of Representatives.
His legislation, House Bill 1536, would allow for not just online casinos and poker sites but also would regulate online lottery games under the Hoosier Lottery.
The bill allows for the same groups that are allowed brick-and-mortar gambling and sports betting in the state are also allowed online casino and poker licenses. The upfront fee for the license would be $500,000 with a $50,000 annual renewal rate. The proposed tax rate is 20%.
There is also a section capping the annual amount of promotional credit on interactive gaming at $10 million annually.
The online lottery portion of the bill would allow for both the online sale of draw game tickets like Mega Millions and Powerball as well as online representations of scratch-off games.
The bill is very similar to the bill put forth by Indiana state Sen. Jon Ford last year. Ford intends to remain involved in the effort, but rather than have the bill start in the Senate, it will originate in the House this time around.
This is the third legislative rodeo for online casino efforts in the state. Hopes were high last year, but the bill failed to make it out of committee. This time around, Manning is the chair of the relevant committee, the Public Policy Committee. While he has the pull to get the bill into committee, many in the industry predict the Senate will be a tougher battle, should the House pass the bill by the Feb. 27 deadline.
Many, including Entain’s Martin Lycka believe Indiana is the state most likely to legalize online casinos this year, along with New York.