Indiana Legalizes Sports Betting Just Before Legislative Session Ends

May 9, 2019 by Landon Wheeler

IndianaIndiana joins the growing list of states that have approved sports betting legislation since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 back in May 2018.

Legislators in Indiana had discussed, debated and approved HB 1015 and the final step in the legislation process was to get Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to sign the bill. It was a tight deadline as the legislative session was set to end this week and Gov. Holcomb gave his approval and signed the bill just before the session could end.

Six states approved sports betting legislation before the end of 2018 and so far three states have approved sports betting bills in 2019.

Indiana becomes the third state to do so this year, joining Tennessee and Montana. There are a number of other states including Iowa who are also debating legalizing sports betting and a few more could follow Indiana before the end of this year.

In a statement, Gov. Holcomb said

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.

Gov. Holcomb said given the growing competition from neighbouring states as they expanded their gambling offerings, it was imperative for Indiana to not waste any more time in legalizing sports betting within their jurisdictions.

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Sports Betting Could Start In September

Indiana remains positive and expects sports betting operations to be up and running before the end of September. The bill will allow sports betting wagers to be placed via mobile phones and also at legalized casinos. Individuals must be physically present within state borders to place their wagers; they will have to be over 21 years and must register at a casino in Indiana before they can place any sports bets.

Sports betting laws in the state will permit wagers on collegiate sports but no bets on youth games or high school games will be allowed. The sports betting tax rate has been set at 9.5 percent and estimates suggest that Indiana will generate around 12 million in taxes.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) released a statement and said Indiana will benefit greatly from legalizing sports betting as a regulated market would offer bettors a better alternative than wagering with illegal sports betting websites.