A new study projects legalizing online casino gaming would bring Indiana nearly $500 million in tax revenue over the next five years.
iDEA Growth and the Casino Association of Indiana commissioned the analysis by Global Market Advisors to help the legislature understand the positive impact of legalizing iGaming.
Last week, Reps. Douglas Gutwein and Ethan Manning introduced online casino legislation with House Bill 1356.
Sen. Jon Ford introduced similar legislation last year and hopes to shepherd the bill in the Senate. But first the House needs to get the legislation over to the other chamber by Jan. 31.
John Pappas, iDEA’s state advocacy director, said in a statement:
“Indiana already has the experience and infrastructure in place through online sports betting to support iGaming. Without even realizing it, Indiana consumers are using illegal online gaming sites that provide no consumer protections and zero state tax revenue. The state’s lawmakers can meet consumer demand by establishing a legal, competitive market that benefits the state economy and protects online players with regulatory safeguards.”
Revenue projections for Indiana online casinos
Global Market Advisors projects overall online gaming revenue to exceed $600 million at market maturity. Total industry revenue by year:
- 2023: $420 million
- 2024: $539 million
- 2025: $575 million
- 2026: $599 million
- 2027: $611 million
Based on the 18% tax rate proposed in HB 1356, Global Market Advisers projects that revenue to bring the state:
- 2023: $75 million
- 2024: $97 million
- 2025: $104 million
- 2026: 108 million
- 2027: $110 million
That totals $494 million in tax revenue over the first five years of online casino.
This means online casino has the potential to bring the state much more money than sports betting. In comparison, Indiana sports wagering generated $307 million in gross revenue and $29 million in state taxes in 2021.
iGaming wouldn’t hurt land-based casino revenue
Global Market Advisors (GMA) evaluated the performance of existing online gaming markets in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia.
GMA dispelled a common misconception that offering casino games online cannibalizes land-based casinos.
Lawmakers often worry about this possibility because casinos ask for a lower tax rate for online games to account for increased operational and marketing costs. In Indiana, the tax rate for commercial casino games ranges from 15% to 40%.
GMA compared land-based revenues in Pennsylvania with other markets across the country. Pennsylvania introduced iGaming in July of 2019.
The analysis showed similar fluctuations in land-based gaming revenue across all markets. And no observed impact on land-based operations in Pennsylvania.
GMC attributed this to iGaming and land-based gaming offering different experiences and appealing to different types of players.
Other recommendations Indiana iGaming study
The report makes the following notes about the legislation to Indiana lawmakers:
- Online gaming licenses will only be granted to operators with experience in online gaming who will be licensed and regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission in partnership with a land-based entity.
- Only patrons within Indiana’s geographic borders will be allowed to place bets.
- A diverse iGaming product offering will include: a slot product featuring numerous titles/themes, table games (house-banked and player-banked), and live dealer online offerings, all as approved by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
- From mobile sports betting, Indiana already has the infrastructure and regulatory safeguards in place to support responsible gambling behaviors.
Matt Bell, executive director of the Casino Association of Indiana, explained:
“iGaming in Indiana will modernize our industry and keep us competitive with our neighboring states that seek to extract Hoosier customers and Hoosier entertainment dollars from our state. We mutually agree that the iGaming market presents Indiana with an opportunity to expand our current regulated environment in a positive way, without impacting the land-based gaming revenue generated in the state.
Just as mobile sports betting has grown the overall revenues for our industry, iGaming will enhance our connection with existing customers and enable us to meet new ones in ways never before possible.”