The Pros And Cons Of Legalizing Indiana Online Casinos

Posted on May 6, 2022 - Last Updated on February 23, 2023

There are two sides to every argument. Even internet casinos in Indiana have different sets of pros and cons.

There aren’t any Indiana online casino apps yet, but that could be changing in the near future. Lawmakers will make another push to add them to the state’s gambling portfolio in 2023.

The pros of internet casinos in Indiana

There are plenty of potential benefits to expanding gambling in the Hoosier State.

This isn’t the extensive list, but we’ll touch on two of the bigger ones here.

Tax money for Indiana

First and foremost, Indiana online casinos would be much more profitable than sports betting has been for the state.

Indiana taxes sports betting revenue at 9.5%, which has led to over $54 million in taxes since wagering began in 2019.

That’s no small sum by any means, but it pales in comparison to the potential iGaming numbers.

Take Michigan as an example.

Indiana’s northern neighbor brought in over $60 million worth of taxes during February and March of this year alone.

In other words, the tax numbers from just two months of Michigan online casinos outpaced over two years of Indiana sports betting.

Granted, Michigan’s tax rate is a little higher than the proposed plan for Indiana.

Michigan taxes online revenue at 20% if the sum is less than $4 million, but that kicks up to 28% for revenue pools bigger than $12 million. Indiana’s proposed tax rate is 18% for internet casinos.

Regardless of the slightly lower rate, the potential for Indiana online casinos is huge. Its taxes would likely start to lap sports betting’s numbers in a matter of months.

Added convenience

Convenience is the best part of internet gambling from the consumer side.

Gamblers in Indiana have grown accustomed to betting on sports from the comfort of their homes. No need to go out of your way to drive to a casino to gamble.

You only need a few minutes to sign up for an online gambling company from your phone or computer. Plus, you can take advantage of online wagering from anywhere within the Indiana state lines.

That type of modern convenience is something that Hoosiers have grown accustomed to.

All of the best parts of sports betting apps also apply to other forms of internet gambling. With the power of a casino in your pocket, gamblers in Indiana would have all sorts of new entertainment options.

The cons of Indiana internet casinos

Nothing is truly 100% positive. Everything, including online casinos, has its fair share of potential downsides.

Again, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but we’ll be hitting some of the main highlights below.

Increase in problem gambling

One of the biggest potential negatives of any gambling expansion is an increase in the number of Hoosiers who experience problem gambling.

About 1% of the adult population in the US has a severe gambling problem.

While online casinos may not raise that percentage, just playing the statistics out, there would be an increase in the overall total number of problem gamblers in Indiana.

That’s mainly because new bettors would enter the picture that aren’t gambling already.

Some people would simply prefer to play a hand of blackjack compared to betting on sports or buying lottery tickets. Hoosiers like that could be entering the gambling market for the first time.

An increase in education for responsible gambling practices could help get ahead of that problem, but that’s not likely to happen until a push for legalization starts picking up steam.

Lack of socialization

Another potential downside to online casinos is the lack of socialization that comes with internet gambling.

That might not be a huge factor to some people, but to others, the interaction is one of the key features of casino gambling. Chumming it up at the blackjack table or chatting with other poker players can really add a cherry on top to the experience.

The lack of socialization can make casino games less engaging for some gamblers. That’s the trade-off that online bettors would be making in exchange for the convenience of casino apps.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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