Indiana’s online casino bill is running out of time. The bill hasn’t made any progress yet with less than two weeks to go until an important deadline.
The first stop for the bill is to make it out of committee, but the group hasn’t even scheduled a hearing for it yet. That’s putting the push to legalize online casinos in Indiana up against the clock.
Feb. 21 is a crucial deadline on the horizon for the bill.
Indiana online casino bill running out of time
The House Committee Report Deadline for this year is Feb. 21. Indiana’s online casino bill will be dead in the water if it doesn’t receive a hearing by that date.
The bill is currently stuck in the House Public Policy Committee. The group has already met two times to give various bills their first hearings, but the internet casino bill wasn’t a part of those discussions.
It’s been nearly a month since the legislative session began, so two meetings for the committee isn’t exactly a breakneck pace. Right now, the group doesn’t have any more meetings on its schedule for the near future.
That pacing could put the casino bill’s back against the wall.
Even if the committee gave the bill the green light on Feb. 21, the last possible day, there would still be tons of ground left to cover before the next deadline.
House bills have to snag their third reading by Feb. 27. After that, they head over to the Senate for the next round of approvals.
Indiana’s internet casino bill hasn’t even had its second reading yet, much less it’s third. Plus, there’s making it through the state’s Ways and Means committee.
During that time, all sorts of debates and changes for the bill’s details can take place. The process takes time, so a six day window between the committee report deadline and the third reading deadline isn’t much to work with.
Similar problem for last online casino bill
This isn’t the first time that Indiana has tried to legalize online casinos. The last bill ended up in a identical situation back in 2022.
The bill died after failing to meet the House Committee Report Deadline last year. That’s the same deadline that the current bill is up against right now.
Last year, the former chairman of the Public Policy Committee refused to give the bill a hearing.
However, the author of the new online casino bill recently replaced that anti-gambling chairman.
Since his own bill is on the chopping block this year, Rep. Ethan Manning at least giving the bill a hearing was expected to be a slam dunk. Instead, Manning and his committee haven’t scheduled any meetings for bill yet, even with the deadline quickly approaching.
It’s a disappointing reality for gamblers in Indiana that were hoping to see online casino progress move quickly.
All things considered, the sooner that the ball gets rolling for the bill, the better. If it doesn’t start making serious inroads soon, then the state’s online casino hopes will die in the exact same place as last year once the Feb. 21 deadline passes.