Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, Indiana did something crazy.
In its pursuit of legalized sports betting in Indiana, the legislature introduced the country to the infamous integrity fee. Gaming stakeholders called politicians monsters for siding with professional sports leagues. The first iteration of the bill was ripped apart and never saw the light of day.
But now, a year after the fall of PASPA, Indiana will have legal, regulated sports betting by way of a new bill with similarities to New Jersey.
A quick look at Indiana sports betting
On April 25, after a long and troublesome road filled with amendments and closed-door meetings, the Indiana legislature gifted residents with what industry experts called an exceptional sports betting bill.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law on May 9.
Judging by Holcomb’s comments, it appears the governor was on board with how sports betting has evolved since 1992.
“Gaming is a highly regulated industry that once had little competition, but now does from surrounding states and new technology,” Holcomb said in a statement.
“By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers,” he said.
A few of the important takeaways include:
- Statewide mobile wagering
- No wagering on Esports or amateur athletes under the age of 18.
- Limits on in-play betting
- A 9.5 percent tax rate on adjusted gross sports betting revenue, with a portion set aside for problem gambling.
- Initial $100,000 fee for a vendor license with a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
Language in the bill also puts restrictions on data sources to settle in-play wagers but leaves that up to the discretion of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Industry experts weigh in
One of the most vocal supports of Indiana’s efforts has been Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association (AGA).
“Indiana is one step closer to reaping the benefits of legal, regulated sports betting with a framework founded on a sensible tax rate and free from unnecessary league fees or carveouts,” Slane said.
Additionally, Slane said, with the inclusion of mobile wagering this gives residents an alternative to the illegal market.
Since May of 2018, the war cry of the AGA has been to eradicate the black market and make sure professional sports leagues are not swimming in pools of money — Scrooge McDuck style.
Indiana joined Montana as the first two states to legalize sports betting this year. Since then, four other states have followed and are patiently waiting in the shadows. So it appears like the AGA battle plan is working.
States pending launch:
- New York
However, the AGA battle strategy has been penetrated by way of Tennessee, which was the first to mandate official league data.
Regardless, several other states, including Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, and North Carolina, are still hopeful of joining the sports betting elite very soon.