Lawmakers Worried Sports Betting in Indiana Could See Delay

In May, Indiana passed sports betting legislation that would bring wagering and two new casinos to the state.

Governor Eric Holcomb signed the sports betting bill that made Indiana the second state in the nation to approve wagering in 2019.

At the bill signing, Holcomb said, “(This bill) 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.”

Lawmakers envisioned Gov. Holcomb’s Commission would have the legal smoothed out for the September 1st date for betting but Indiana’s betting might be delayed due to slow integration.

Indiana Gaming Commission stated recently that the September 1st date may be too “aggressive” and residents should prepare for a longer timeline to opening.

Executive Director of the Commission Sara Gonso Tait told assembled members that the group cannot promise that the state will be ready for sports betting by the beginning of September.

What is Causing the Delay in Indiana?

Tait blamed the delay on unforeseen delays in getting licensing ready for operators.

Operators are struggling with “submitting applications, creating internal control procedures, hiring and training new staff, (and) entering into agreements for data,” Tait said.

Indiana did approve brick and mortar along with online betting and Tait warned that wagering in casinos would most likely be ready before mobile betting was completed.

“It is a tall order,” Tait said during the Commission’s meeting. “And there are many factors outside of our control.”

Another reason for the delay is that despite approving the middle in early May, the commission won’t be accepting applications for licensing until July 1st.

The Commission continues to assemble the application to make sure it meets legal requirements.

What Can Bettors In Indiana Expect When Windows Open?

Once operators are ready, bettors in the state can expect to bet on professional and college sports at casinos, racetracks, and off-track facilities.

In addition, bettors will be able to bet online through mobile apps. Online betting is becoming wildly popular as New Jersey fields over 80% of all bets through mobile applications.

Regardless of the hiccups being experienced in Indiana, experts believe the headaches are worth it for a strong sports betting law.

Sara Slane of the American Gaming Commission believes that the Indiana law is one of the best thus far in the nation.

“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,” she said.

Operators hoping to gain a betting license will have to pay an initial fee of $100,000. Once the application is approved, the operator will pay $50,000 each year they remain open.

The Commission is scheduled again to meet in August and should provide an update on whether the September 1st date is possible.