The United States jurisdictions are picking right from where they left gambling legalization before breaking for holidays last year. Indiana is among the states that have begun the 2021 legislative session with State Senator Jon Ford introducing a bill to legalize internet games, including online poker and online casinos.
The bill, SB 417, will allow residents in Hoosier State to play poker over the internet through platforms provided by 14 gaming facilities, including casinos and racinos already operating brick and mortar gaming. The casinos interested in providing similar games as they do with their land-based venues will have to apply for online gaming licenses before they qualify to offer online card games.
A Huge Step for Indiana
It is quite some time now since all the 50 states got a nod to introduce online poker to their jurisdiction. However, only five states have legalized poker rooms, including Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Michigan is the fifth state to legalize online poker but is yet to go live with the card game. If everything goes as anticipated, Indiana will become the sixth state to legalize online poker.
The thing is, over a dozen states have legalized sports gambling. But, these states haven’t legalized online poker as it is not a priority yet. Various jurisdictions would essentially make a lot more revenue by launching sports gambling as it is a popular type of gaming compared to poker.
Indiana Gambling Industry Goes Swimmingly
Unlike some states such as Utah that fight against the legalization of gambling, Indiana has taken the subject positively. Hoosier State was the eighth state to legalize online sports betting a year later after the overturning of PASPA. Since the launch of the sports betting industry in the state, its betting handle has been continually growing, proving its good choice to legalize the industry.
Even when the COVID-19 affected the gaming industry in most states, Indiana saw a constant income from the industry, thanks to wagering over the internet. Essentially, the state had a $313 million wagered amount, with $263 million coming from online betting sites in December.
The top four sportsbooks contributing to the huge wagered amount included DraftKings, which had $125 million, FanDuel with $80 million, BetMGM with 46 million, and PointsBet concluding the top four with $23 million. After subtracting winners’ payouts and revenue tax of $2.3 million, these sportsbooks made over $24 million.
Since Indiana launched sports betting in October 2019, the state accumulated $1.7 billion, an amount that would have reached $2 billion in the absence of the coronavirus pandemic. With sports taking a break around the world, Indiana residents were left with almost no sports to bet on. Moreover, people were unwilling to go to gamble in person in various casinos even after they opened amid the coronavirus pandemic—this significantly suppressed income.
Generally, Indiana continues to expand its territory for gambling. It started with legalizing the sports betting sector, which is doing so well at the moment, and now the state plans to launch online poker and casinos. As a state that positively receives new ideas and implements, we can’t wait to see Hoosier State legalize online poker.