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US – Indiana Governor signs in new laws for sports betting

By - 10 May 2019

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed a bill allowing sports betting, which has already been approved by the state’s legislature three weeks ago.

Indiana will allow retail sportsbooks at casinos and other locations along with statewide mobile wagering, having removed it from the bill and then added it back in. No in-person registration will be required. A tax rate of 9.5 per cent on gross revenue has been set, with a share of this given over to funding problem gambling research.

Betting on esports or amateur athletes under the age of 18 will not be allowed though. Licences will cost $100,000 followed by $50,000 annual renewal payments. The legislation sets limits on in-play betting to be overseen by the Indiana Gaming Commission. “A certificate holder or vendor may use data selected in a manner approved by the commission to determine whether a wager is a winning wager,” the bill read.

Under the bill, license holders can sign up to three brands, or skins, for online sports wagering. The Indiana Gaming Commission will start accepting sports betting applications on July 1, 2019.

Governor Holcomb said: “Gaming is a highly regulated industry that once had little competition, but now does from surrounding states and new technology. By modernising 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.”

Sara Slane, American Gaming Association Senior Vice President of public affairs, said: “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.”

The new laws will also speed up the date that horse race tracks will be allowed to operate live table games. It will also allow operators to own up to six casinos or racinos in the state.

Two horse track casinos located close to Indianapolis are expected to open with live table games in January 2020. The state will also allow Spectacle Entertainment, the owner of two Gary, Indiana casino boats to move from Lake Michigan to a new site in Indianapolis for a $20m fee with 2,764 gaming positions.

A new casino tender could be launched for a location in Terre Haute with both Spectacle and Full House Resorts expected to bid. However this will need the green light from voters in Vigo County via a referendum. Legislation caps the number of gaming positions at 1,500 and calls for a minimum investment of $100m.

Caption: Spectacle’s plans for Gary

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