Indiana Eyes Online Casino Launch in 2023 With New Lottery-Inclusive Bill

  • Online poker and blackjack could be legal in Indiana by September 1, 2023
  • Sen. Ford and Rep. Manning have co-sponsored the new legislation
  • The bill will permit the state’s 11 casinos, racinos to offer online casino games
  • Indiana is the sixth US state to reach the $10bn mark for lifetime sports betting handle
Indiana flag with US flag
Indiana lawmakers have drafted a new online casino bill that includes the state lottery and could potentially bring in another $1bn in annual revenue. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

High hopes

This month, Indiana joined a very select group of US states by topping $10bn in lifetime sports betting handle. Now, if new legislation gets approval next year, it could soon add online casino gambling – a market that some believe could generate $1bn in annual revenue for the state.

co-authors Senator Jon Ford and State Representative Ethan Manning

A key element to the fresh bill is the inclusion of the Hoosier Lottery, the state’s lottery arm that tried to migrate its games online earlier this year only for Indiana lawmakers to nix the plans. Bill co-authors Senator Jon Ford and State Representative Ethan Manning are hoping the inclusion will give the proposed legislation a better chance of success than their failed 2022 bill.

The duo have finally finished drafting their latest online casino bill which lawmakers will have their chance to mull when the legislative session gets underway in January. Should the bill pass, games like online poker and blackjack could be legal in Indiana by September 1, 2023.

All-inclusive bill

The new bill will permit the state’s 11 casinos and racinos, which includes one tribal property, to offer online casino games. If the legislation passes, the gambling facilities will get to partner with up to three different iGaming brands. The Hoosier Lottery will then also be able to offer online versions of its games.

Casinos will pony up $500,000 for their initial license, which would then cost $50,000 per year to renew. The bill sets an 18% tax on revenue for the online casino vertical, with 3.33% of this earmarked for the state’s Addiction Services Fund.

While Ford and Manning’s bill still needs to surmount an inevitable mountain of debate in Indiana’s legislature, gambling expansion supporters are hopeful 2023 is going to be the year Indiana rolls out online casino.

Ford and Manning’s 2022 bid hit difficulties after an investigation into illegal election finance schemes involving an ex-state Senator and a former casino executive made gambling a hot political potato. In August, the Department of Justice sentenced former Indiana state Senator Brent Waltz to ten months in prison for his role in election finance schemes involving ex-casino executive John Keeler.

Indiana joins $10bn club

Indiana was one of the early adopters of legal mobile sports betting after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. Governor Eric Holcomb gave the thumbs up to betting in May 2019.

$452.3m in sports wagers for November

Now, Indiana has taken its place among the US’s most bet-thirsty states by clearing the $10bn barrier for lifetime handle. It reported $452.3m in sports wagers for November. Indiana joins New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Nevada as the only US states to reach the $10bn all-time handle mark.

Last week, Illinois joined New York, New Jersey, and Nevada in the group of states to hit the $1bn mark in monthly handle after a record October.