Indiana trying to legalize online poker

Indiana First Tribal Casino to Open in October

A bill was introduced in Indiana earlier this month that will attempt to legalize online poker in the state.

Senator Jon Ford introduced SB 417, which would legalize all forms of online casino gambling in Indiana. Under the legislation in the bill the 14 casinos and racinos in Indiana would be able to setup an online platform that offers the same casino gaming that they offer in their brick and mortar establishment.

The casinos and racinos would be able to partner with up to three online gambling and online poker providers.

To expand to online gambling the casinos and racinos would need to apply for a second gambling license.

This would be Indiana’s for foray into attempting to legalize online casino gambling and poker, but it’s not their first venture into online gambling. Indiana legalized sports betting in May 2018 and just a few months later they also legalized online sports betting.

Online sports betting went live in Indiana in October 2019 and in that month alone their betting handle nearly tripled, going from $35.2 million in September to $91.7 million in October.

That handle has continued to rise and in December 2020 Indiana reported a new record sports betting handle of $313.1 million. That was up from $251.4 million reported in November. Those soaring numbers, and the taxes that come along with them, may make passing online gambling legislation much easier.

The online gambling legislation that is currently on the table in Indiana has proposed a higher tax rate on online gambling than it has already instituted on sports betting. In Indiana sports betting’s adjusted gross revenue is taxed at 9.5 percent. In SB 417 online gambling revenue, including casinos games and poker, would be taxed at 18 percent, with 15 percent being directed to the local government each casino.

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The next stop for the bill would be a hearing before the Senate Public Policy Committee, which Ford hopes will happen later this month.

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