Indiana legalizes sports betting

How about this?

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana sports betting bill H-1015 into law, making it the second state to legalize wagering this year. Montana legalized single-game wagering via the state lottery.

The Indiana Legislature approved the bill April 25 and had Holcomb passed on signing, it would have become law without his signature.  Holcomb issued a brief release on his signing of the gaming bill:

“Gaming is a highly regulated industry that once had little competition, but now does from surrounding states and new technology. By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers.

“Additionally, it will bring in new revenue and create hundreds of new jobs – both permanent and in construction. I will direct the Indiana Gaming Commission to monitor for potential effects of this bill so that we can make necessary changes in future legislative sessions.”

The state will have both online sports betting and retail sportsbooks as part of the new law. Indiana sports betting faced a pair of significant challenges on its path through the statehouse. Opposition from Rep. Ben Smaltz required the stripping of mobile sports wagering from the bill early in the process. A conference committee later added mobile back in at the last possible moment in late April, helping the bill clear its other major hurdle of escaping conference in time for a pair of full votes.

The nitty-gritty of the Indiana sports betting law:

*Statewide mobile wagering

**Tax rate of 9.5 percent of adjusted gross revenue, with a portion allocated to problem gambling.

***No wagering on esports or amateur athletes under the age of 18.

****An initial $100,000 fee for a vendor license, followed by $50,000 annual renewal payments.

*****Limits on in-play betting and restrictions on data sources are left to the discretion of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

 

Obviously, people are already chiming in on the new bill.  Sara Slane, American Gaming Association senior vice president of public affairs, issued a statement:

“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. The bill enables conveniences like mobile wagering and a safe alternative to the pervasive illegal market for the millions of Hoosiers who are already betting on sports.

With nearby states such as Iowa, Missouri and Michigan well ahead of Indiana in terms of legalizing sports gambling, the pressure is on for state legislators. Indiana has the infrastructure in place to provide live sports books within a calendar year with 13 casinos and racinos available to the state’s approximately 6.7 million residents.

 

Now, I’ve never officially wagered on any sporting events. I’ve had fun one game bets to wear opposing team’s jersey or silly things like that. Overall, I have to say I am not plugged into this enough, but, I’ll say this, I am not opposed to it. It makes sense for the state government to want a piece of something that’s going on regardless of state law now that there is a chance to make some coin off it. I just hope the tax dollars go to improving the state in some noticeable way. Roads (hint, hint).

 

I believe it’ll still be hard to regulate. NCAA has to be licking it’s chops a bit too especially with football. Could be huge dollars to make. Hard part is that these 18-22 year olds already have entire fans bases breathing down their throats based upon performance. Social media has changed all of that. Now you’re able to legally wager on these kids. Look out.

 

The question for Indiana based universities? Would you fully embrace this if you were them by having their own technology in place for an in-house stadium experience?

 

Fiscally, it would make great business sense to go all in, as it were, and embrace it. Look at it from the perspective of how to create a unique experience around it.

 

With more and more legalized gambling on the horizon, the NCAA is expected to hear a proposal this month to institute what would essentially be the equivalent to the NFL’s injury report.  Do you Buy or Sell that idea for college football?

 

I sell, but I think it’ll have to happen if you’re wagering on games.

 

To close, and perhaps a topic to discuss in the future, but baseball and gambling have always been taboo. Does baseball need to embrace sports wagering to try to better engage and build its fan base?

 

Heck yes.

 

Talk soon!

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