Lawmakers Step In To Stop Hoosier Lottery From Adding Online Games

Posted on March 14, 2022

The Hoosier Lottery will not be adding online games in 2022. Indiana lawmakers recently stepped in to stop the lottery’s internet expansion.

There is already legal online sports betting in Indiana, so adding lottery options into the mix would have been a new option for gamblers.

No online Hoosier Lottery games

Indiana legislators haven’t killed the idea of online lottery entirely, but there won’t be any momentum for the change this year.

Lawmakers used HB 1260 to prevent the Hoosier Lottery from adding online games without the consent of the legislature. If and when Indiana adds internet lottery options, it will be at the discretion of the General Assembly.

The Hoosier Lottery is coming off of a record-breaking year, but it’s expecting a revenue decline for the current budget cycle.

That’s mostly due to the return of pre-pandemic normalcy around the state. Hoosiers aren’t turning to lotto tickets as often as they were two years ago now that other forms of entertainment are back in full swing.

The revenue forecast has the Hoosier Lottery looking for new ways to drum up extra business. Enter, online lottery games.

Indiana would have become the ninth state to add online lotto games if the change had gone through.

Hoosier Lottery officials had been working with an outside vendor to gauge the possibility of adding online games. That’s when word began to spread about the move.

Some local vendors in the state started raising concerns about the lottery’s online move. That eventually led to lawmakers stepping in.

Local concern around Indiana

Retail lottery ticket vendors were not happy about the potential of adding online Hoosier Lottery options.

Indiana’s Lottery Commission originally had the authority to add online games without supervision. That was thanks to the 1989 Lottery Act.

Local groups were worried that online lottery sales would cut into their share of the profits. They believed that more online gambling would lead to fewer physical ticket sales.

Support from local ticket sellers was important for House Speaker Todd Huston, who wanted them to be on board with the change.

“I want to make sure that whatever is done supports local retailers, the money stays in local communities. I made it extraordinarily clear that my expectation is the local retailers need to be supportive of it and you need to be make sure that they’re, you know, incredible participants in these types of discussions.”

The vendors were arguing that the Lottery Act was out of date since lawmakers weren’t considering cell phones and the internet more than 30 years ago. State representatives agreed, which led to them stepping in to stop the online expansion.

The Hoosier Lottery could still add online games next year, but it will need approval from the General Assembly. That’s likely to happen at some point in the future, but the change might be easier said than done for the 2023 legislative session.

Indiana gambling legislation full for 2023

Indiana already has a full plate for 2023 when it comes to online gambling expansion.

Lawmakers tried to legalize online casino in Indiana this year, but ultimately fell short. The change would have let Hoosiers play classic casino games like blackjack and poker from their phones and computers.

Things didn’t work out this year, but lawmakers will be taking another swing in 2023.

Since online casinos are incredibly profitable, they’ll likely take priority over other forms of gambling expansion like the lottery. That could put the Hoosier Lottery’s online games at the back of the line.

There’s still a chance that the lottery could push things through next year, but at least for now, it’s clear that Indiana won’t be adding online lottery games anytime soon.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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