Indiana ready to step into the online poker game
By Bob Garcia
A new bill would allow the state’s casinos to introduce online poker
Not long after Michigan joined the ranks of other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania in approving online poker and interstate player sharing, Indiana could be next. A new bill is in the works that would pave the way for the state’s casinos and racinos to offer mobile poker, with the hopes that, once established, interstate poker might join. Indiana is hoping to capitalize on the recent success of its sports gambling market, which is helping increase participation in all forms of gambling.
Senate Bill 417 (SB 417) was introduced by Senator Jon Ford and would authorize all forms of online casino games, including poker. It would give Indiana’s 14 casinos and racinos the ability to apply for a license to operate an online platform, provided they’re willing to carry the additional license, which means additional costs. Ford expects the online segment to bring in anywhere from $65 million to $80 million in annual tax revenue, an amount that would seem to indicate there is overwhelming interest for online gaming.
Sports gambling has already proven to be highly lucrative for the state, with much of the $13.2 million in tax revenue paid last year coming from the online sportsbooks. Mobile sports gambling was introduced in October 2019, and the handle tripled its first month, increasing from $35.2 million to $91.7 million. Last month, Indiana saw $313 million in sports wagers, a record that broke the previous month’s record of $251 million. Ford and other online casino proponents are confident online poker and casino games will bring the same success to the state.