Indiana has become the latest state to jump onto the legal sports betting wagon – as long as the Supreme Court lifts current federal restrictions. Sen. Jon Ford, R-Terre Haute, has introduced SB 405 in the Hoosier State which would allow the state’s riverboats, racinos and their satellite facilities to offer legal sports betting.
The synopsis of Senate Bill 405 reads: “Wagering on sports. Authorizes sports wagering at riverboats, racinos and satellite facilities after the Indiana gaming commission determines that current federal prohibitions on sports wagering are no longer applicable. Provides for the administration, conduct and taxation of sports wagering. Imposes initial and annual fees on a licensed owner, operating agent or permit holder conducting sports wagering.”
An identical bill will be filed in the House by Rep. Alan Morrison, also of Terre Haute, it was announced.
For now, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Policy.
According to Legal Sports Report, the National Collegiate Athletic Association remains opposed to the wagering on college sports, saying that doing so had the potential to “undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.”
Some of the details of Sen. Ford’s SB 405 bill are as follows:
- An intial fee of $500,000 will be imposed on operators who want to offer sports betting.
- Operators will also pay an annual administrative fee of $75,000.
- An adjusted gross receipt tax on sports betting will be set at 9.25%.
SB 405 has the support of the Casino Association of Indiana, which has said that one of the keys to the bill’s success would be educating lawmakers. It said that introducing sports betting would essentially have the dual purpose of bringing people to casinos and also bring in much needed money to state coffers.
“We have to be reasonable in the way we address sports betting and its taxation as well, both in terms of entry into the market and how we tax it as a state,” noted the president and chief executive officer of the Casino Association of Indiana. “Its benefit is that it will be driving customers to a property who wouldn’t be there, who will spend incrementally in other ways. That’s where the state will realize a benefit.”