Indiana online casinos have incredible financial potential, but the state will have to decide what to spend the money on.
Right now, the plan is to send the taxes from online casinos in Indiana into a few different places. The state’s general fund, the addiction services fund and a new interactive gaming fund will all get a piece of the pie.
That’s typical for a state with internet casinos, but what if Indiana wanted to have some fun with its spending?
Here’s a look at five out-of-the-box things that the state could spend its online casino revenue on. These wacky options aren’t likely to actually happen, but are still fun alternate realities to consider.
How much money will Indiana online casinos create?
Before we can plan out what to spend the online casino money on, we first need to know how much money we’re actually working with. There are varying estimates depending on who you ask.
PlayIndiana expects internet casinos in Indiana to create up to $200 million worth of taxes every year. Spectrum Gaming Group is predicting a little over $167 million worth of annual taxes, while a new report from the state suggests that the number could hover at the $162 million mark.
For the sake of these out-of-the-box spending ideas, we’ll be using that $200 million prediction.
1. Buy out the Indianapolis 500
The first nonsensical option for Indiana to spend its money on is buying out the Indianapolis 500.
The Indy 500 is probably the most famous event taking place in the state every year, so why not pack out the Motor Speedway exclusively with Hoosiers?
The Motor Speedway is the largest sporting venue in the entire world. Its massive capacity can hold up to 400,000 race fans for a single Indy 500.
Right now, the average cost of a ticket to the big race is $367. Multiply that by 400,000 people and you’ve got a massive race bill of nearly $147 million for Indiana.
That’s a huge amount of money to spend on a single event, but hey, Indiana can afford it with the potential new tax revenue from online casinos.
Under this idea, the state would even have an extra $53 million to spend on something else like a few rounds of beers for everyone at the racetrack.
2. Fill every pothole in Indianapolis
Hoosiers are used to dealing with the consequences of the state’s climate. Indiana can shift from 60 degrees to 10 degrees overnight, which takes a brutal toll on the state’s roads.
The weather leads to tens of thousands of new potholes showing up every year. The missing chunks of asphalt lead to car damage and general annoyance for drivers all over Indiana.
Indiana could use its new online casino tax money to eradicate the capital’s pothole problem once and for all.
Indianapolis repaired over 440,000 potholes during 2022, and that’s an expensive endeavor for taxpayers to deal with every year. Correctly fixing a pothole can cost up to $400, which may have put the city on the hook for $176 million worth of repairs last year. And that doesn’t even include the thousands of potholes that go unfilled each year due to the overwhelmed repair system.
Adding $200 million worth of online casino taxes to the pile could help eliminate the problem across the city. Imagine driving on smooth, fresh roads everywhere in Indianapolis, regardless of the season or where you live.
3. Build thousands of statues to honor Indiana’s athletes
Sports fans from around the Hoosier State are all familiar with Peyton Manning. Manning played the bulk of his productive years with the Indianapolis Colts, and helped the franchise win the 2007 Super Bowl.
The Colts weren’t a part of the Super Bowl action this year, but the team certainly hasn’t forgotten Manning’s contributions to the state. Back in 2017, the team revealed a new statue of Manning outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. That bronze likeness of him stands at nine feet tall and cost about $55,000 to build.
Another wild option for Indiana to spend its internet casino money on would be to build thousands of these giant statues around the state to honor Indiana’s sports heros.
We’re talking a dystopian number of statues here, littered around locations from the local grocery store to the state’s parks and public spaces. At $55,000 a pop, Indiana could afford to build 3,636 new statues using its $200 million from online gaming taxes.
Imagine dropping your kids off at school in front of giant bronze statues of Reggie Miller and Bobby Knight. It’s a ridiculous world to imagine, but it’s one that could theoretically be possible thanks to the revenue from online casinos.
4. Buy everyone in Indiana Long’s donuts
Long’s Bakery is a staple of the Indianapolis food scene. The famous white boxes are known across the city by everyone from janitors to professional athletes.
Using its new tax money from online casinos, Indiana could create three new “Donut Day” holidays for the state every year. On each of these days, everyone in the state could receive a free dozen donuts from Long’s Bakery.
Assuming you don’t go crazy with the extras, you can snag a dozen Long’s donuts for about $10. With Indiana’s population at 6,785,528 according to the 2020 census, that would put the state’s Donut Day bill at $67,785,280.
With its $200 million budget, Indiana would fall just shy of being able to pull of three Donut Days per year. A few Hoosiers wouldn’t be included for the third new holiday, so Indiana would have to use some sort of lottery system to figure out who would make the cut.
Regardless of ending up with two or three days worth of donuts, free Long’s is still free Long’s.
5. Clone Gainbridge Fieldhouse
What’s better than one basketball arena in downtown Indianapolis? How about two.
Gainbridge Fieldhouse is the home of the Indiana Pacers, and it also hosts numerous other concerts and events over the course of a given year.
One final unhinged idea for Indiana’s internet casino taxes would be to spend the money on building a sister stadium to Gainbridge. We’re talking a Krusty Krab 2 scenario here, where the identical buildings would sit side-by-side in downtown Indy.
That would allow the city to draw in even more events than it already does.
The buildings could coordinate their scheduling to double dip in the business. Imagine leaving a Pacers game and walking right next door to watch the Indy Fuel hockey game that starts in 20 minutes.
Conseco Fieldhouse was Gainbridge’s orignal name. The building cost $183 million to construct back in the late 1990s. That’s $298 million worth of 2021 dollars.
In other words, Indiana would have to pool its online casino money for an extra year before it could pull this off.
Granted, there are definitely more important things for Indiana to spend the money on. Despite that, some of the more wacky ideas are fun alternative realities to consider.
The bottom line is that online casinos would create enormous amounts of taxes for Indiana. If Indiana legalizes them in the near future, then the state will have all sorts of fresh cash to spend however it pleases.