Hoosiers could have access to online poker in the near future if Indiana legalizes iGaming. Online casino games would be a game-changer for the state.
But when will that legalization actually happen? It might be a while before lawmakers can make some real progress.
Online poker in Indiana
State Sen. Jon Ford made the first real pass at creating legal online casinos in Indiana back in 2021.
However, the process was a bumpy one.
The pandemic made for a strange legislative calendar. There just wasn’t enough time for Ford to educate his fellow lawmakers on the topic.
The education piece is an important one since some state representatives were not very familiar with online casino gaming. Many believed that the legalization of sports betting back in 2019 had also brought casino games into the fold.
That 2021 bill would’ve legalized online games like blackjack and roulette, but it also would have brought online poker into Indiana’s market.
Unfortunately, things under up falling short.
Despite that, Ford and company took another swing at things in 2022. Ford’s bill once again failed to pick up any momentum, but for different reasons than 2021.
A key issue for lawmakers was the ongoing Spectacle Entertainment scandal, which is still finding new ways to stay in the spotlight.
Another roadblock was 2022’s short legislative session. Indiana has shortened sessions in even-numbered years, which doesn’t give lawmakers much time to get the ball rolling on new bills.
2021’s shortened pandemic session running back-to-back with a shorter session from an even year was unfortunate timing that made it difficult to make progress for online poker.
When will Indiana legalize internet casinos?
Indiana’s legislative session is already over for 2022. In other words, Hoosiers will have to wait until next year for some online poker progress.
It won’t take long before things start picking up steam. Ford will likely introduce another internet casino bill right after the new year. That legislation will likely look nearly identical to 2022’s bill.
- Allows Indiana’s casinos to offer online casino games, including online poker
- Each casino pays $500,000 for an online gaming license, which costs $50,000 to renew every year
- Every casino can team up with three different online brands
- Those brands pay $100,000 for their gaming license, with a $25,000 price tag for annual renewal
- Online casinos taxed at 18%, with 3% of the money going to local governments
- 3.33% of the state’s tax revenue would go to the Addiction Services Fund
Theoretically, most of the issues facing legalization in the past two years should be wrapped up by the time we get to 2023. That could clear a path for online poker to finally make its way to Indiana.
With the Hoosier Lottery also pushing to add online games next year, it could be a busy spring for gambling legislation in Indiana. All of that could give Hoosiers more betting options than ever before.