Almost as quickly as two iGaming bills were filed in the current Indiana legislative session, they have been left behind.
A key deadline passed for the Public Policy Committee to move forward with HB 1337 or HB 1356, marking the second straight year iGaming failed to reach the legislative floor for any kind of vote. The last day of third readings for the House is Jan. 31, which meant the bills — filed Jan. 11 — needed to move out of committee by Tuesday if they were to become law on a customary path.
Rep. Alan Morrison, who filed the lone iGaming bill in 2021, did so again this year with HB 1337, while Reps. Doug Gutwine and Ethan Manning filed HB 1356.
It is not surprising the bills failed to move forward, given that it is an election year for state lawmakers and the Hoosier State overall has a solid financial picture. In December, the state was projected to have $5.1 billion in reserves by the end of Fiscal Year 2022 and $4.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2023, reducing any urgency to generate additional tax revenue by moving an iGaming bill forward.
A study attached to Gutwine and Manning’s bill projected $100 million in additional tax revenue from iGaming in a fully mature market by Fiscal Year 2025, based on an 18% tax rate. Morrison’s bill called for the same tax rate and also proposed an expansion of the Indiana Gaming Commission from its current seven members to nine.
While there is again no movement toward online casino gaming, retail casino gaming chugs along at a strong clip. Indiana’s casinos reported $211.6 million in win during December, with newcomer Hard Rock Northern Indiana the strongest performer. In the first six months of Fiscal Year 2022, casino gaming generated $242.8 million in tax receipts while sports wagering added another $16.1 million.