Indiana lawmakers are about to introduce a new bill that would legalize online casinos in the Hoosier State.
The stage is set for a major push for gambling expansion. The bill will start to pick up steam in the early days of 2023.
Indiana online casinos would be a massive money maker for both gambling companies and the state.
PlayIndiana estimates that a fully mature industry could generate over $993 million worth of revenue every year. That could translate to at least $178 million in annual taxes for Indiana.
Push for Indiana internet casinos coming soon
Indiana’s legislative cycle doesn’t pick up again until January 2023. When it does, lawmakers will try to push a new online casino bill through the state’s legislative process.
Success would give Hoosiers the chance to play classic casino games such as blackjack, slots and poker from the comfort of their homes. Anyone of legal age would be able to gamble using their smartphone or computer.
The goal is to have online casinos open for business in the state by Sept. 1, 2023, but that date is still subject to change.
Sen. Jon Ford and Rep. Ethan Manning have been at the forefront of the legalization efforts. The duo tried to legalize online casinos in 2022, but things didn’t pick up much steam.
Ford is the original lawmaker that has been pushing for legalization, but earlier this year, he thought his bill would have a better chance passing through the House rather than the Senate.
That’s where Rep. Manning comes in. Manning presented the bill to the House on Ford’s behalf in 2022, and might end up doing so again in 2023.
Some of the key components of Ford and Manning’s bill:
- Allows Indiana’s casinos and racinos to offer internet casino games;
- Legalizes online poker;
- Each casino partner can partner with three different brands;
- Allows the Hoosier Lottery to offer internet versions of its games;
- Casinos pay $500,000 for their licenses, which renew each year for $50,000;
- Online casino revenue would be taxed at 18%;
- A 3.33% increment of the taxes would go to the Addiction Services Fund.
If everything goes according to plan, Indiana’s online casinos will generate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of revenue every year.
Indiana online casinos have massive potential
The gambling business has been booming in recent years, so this seems to be the natural next step for the state.
Potential revenue of $993 million would have plenty of gambling companies eager to take bets in Indiana.
Many of these companies already are taking bets for the sports betting side of Indiana gambling.
For example, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetMGM operate sportsbooks in the state. All of them will be rushing to open online casinos if Indiana legalizes them.
About $178 million worth of taxes is also hardly a drop in the bucket. Online casinos would be a huge source of income for the state.
That’s money that could go toward creating better education services, fixing the state’s infamously pothole-filled roads or any other program that lawmakers can think of.
Online casinos will be bigger than sports betting
Online casinos are the natural next step for Indiana’s gambling industry. However, they wouldn’t be the first big type of online gambling to make their debut in the Hoosier State.
Online sports betting in Indiana has been around since 2019. The state has racked up over $10 billion worth of wagers so far.
That’s an impressive handle, but Indiana online casino revenue would dwarf sports betting’s numbers before long.
Sportsbooks in the state have generated nearly $790 million in revenue since betting began.
In other words, one single-year revenue haul of $993 million from internet casinos would greatly outpace three years’ worth of revenue from sports betting.
The disparity between online casinos and sports betting is even bigger on the tax dollar side of things.
Sports betting has created a little more than $75 million worth of taxes since 2019, which is less than half of the $178 million that online casinos could create in a single year.
Tax projections could continue evolving
While PlayIndiana’s revenue estimate of $993 million is firm, the tax numbers are a little more up in the air.
Any bill of this size will go through several rounds of debate before it can make its way to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.
During that time, the tax rate for online casino revenue could change.
PlayIndiana’s annual tax projection of $178 million should serve as a conservative estimate for Indiana’s future.
Our projection is based on the bill’s current proposed tax rate of 18%, but again, that number could change once lawmakers start getting into the weeds of the legalization process.
If the tax rate does change, it wouldn’t be a shock to see it creep as high as 40%. That could shoot Indiana’s potential tax haul from internet casinos up to nearly $400 million per year.
Indiana continues role as gambling leader
Indiana has been one of the most forward-thinking states in the entire country when it comes to embracing new forms of gambling.
Hoosiers were some of the first in the US to have access to legal sports betting. Indiana residents would be in a similar spot next year if the state legalizes online casinos.
The following states all have some form of legal online casinos, whether that’s limited to only poker or the full slate of options like Indiana is trying to add:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are titans when it comes to the revenue side of online casinos, but they’re both more populous states than Indiana. They also benefit from their proximity to New York.
When it comes to potential market size, Indiana is a lot more likely to end up with numbers that mirror Michigan rather than New Jersey.
Michigan’s online casinos racked up $1.1 billion of revenue during 2021, the first year for the market. That’s slightly higher than PlayIndiana’s projection of $993 million for the Hoosier State. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Michigan had more than 10 million people, while Indiana had less than 7 million.
Regardless of where Indiana’s numbers end up in the national rankings, online casinos would be a huge success in the state. If lawmakers can legalize them in a few months, then Hoosiers could have a new entertainment option at their fingertips sooner rather than later.