Indiana Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sports Betting and Approving Casino Relocation

  • Governor Eric Holcomb has signed a bill legalizing sports betting in Indiana, including mobile
  • Bill also permits the Majestic Star riverboat casinos in Gary to relocate to land
  • Biggest change in the gambling landscape for the state since riverboat casino legalization in 1993
Indiana governor has approved sports betting bill.

Governor approves bill

Indiana has become the latest state in the US to legalize sports betting. The House Enrolled Act 1015 has been signed by Governor Eric Holcomb, approving sports betting along with other changes to the gambling industry of the state. Sports betting is now legal in land-based and mobile format and two riverboat casinos in the city of Gary also have the option to now move to land.

According to VSO News, the Senate and House passed the sports betting bill in late April, and it moved on to the Governor’s desk for final approval. It was believed that the bill would be signed into law, especially after changes were made to add mobile sports betting back into the bill’s language.

The bill marks the first major change in Indiana’s gambling landscape since riverboat casinos were approved in 1993. The new law will allow two Majestic Star casinos in Gary, Indiana, to move on to land, thus becoming more accessible. One of the casinos will move to Terre Haute, providing a new gaming option in the region.

It did take time for Holcomb to sign the bill. The governor spent seven days reading every word of the measure.

Governor Holcomb said: “Gaming is a highly regulated industry that once had little competition, but now does from surrounding states and new technology.  By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers. Additionally, it will bring in new revenue and create hundreds of new jobs — both permanent and in construction.”

The governor will now direct the Indiana Gaming Commission to monitor potential effects of the measure and make changes as needed during future sessions of legislation.

Sports betting plans

Indiana has plans to launch sports betting on September 1. The Gaming Commission will now create and implement the rules for the new industry. Vendors will need to be evaluated and licensed over the next few months to be ready for the launch.

The new law allows players in the state to place wagers at casinos and racinos, along with off-track wagering venues. Mobile devices can also be used for gambling. Wagering on horse racing, e-sports, and amateur youth sports are prohibited.

Casino relocation plans

For the casino relocation portion of the bill, the owner of the Majestic Star casinos, Spectacle Entertainment, will be allowed to request permission beginning on July 1 to relocate. The request must include the first of five installments of a $20m (£15.4) moving fee. Plans for the new land-based facility and a list of employee transfers must be included. The Gary City Council must also consent to the move.

The commission will have to evaluate several aspects before deciding if the relocation will be permitted. Spectacle will have to forfeit its second gaming license in Gary to move to Terre Haute. The commission will review the economic benefits of the move plus tax revenues and job creation.

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