March 6, 2023

Bill to legalize online gambling fails to advance in 2023 session

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Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) said he'll work to educate lawmakers on the importance of legalizing online gambling as a way to help curb the black market. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) said he'll work to educate lawmakers on the importance of legalizing online gambling as a way to help curb the black market.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

There was a lot of momentum for Indiana to legalize online gambling in the 2023 session. But a bill to do so – and allow online lottery – went nowhere this session.

Indiana legalized online sports gaming in 2019. But table games – like poker and blackjack – are still only legal at casinos. Rep. Ethan Manning’s (R-Denver) bill, HB 1536, would’ve legalized online table games and online lottery. But he never even brought the measure for a hearing this session.

He said he needs to better educate lawmakers and the public on the importance of legalizing i-gaming.

“We know that we have a very large black market for i-gaming now – it’s been shown in other states," Manning said. "And we know that, by bringing it into the light, we can add consumer protections and do a lot of things with responsible gaming that we’re not able to do right now.”

READ MORE: Hoosier Lottery officials not lobbying lawmakers to expand online

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Manning said the state also needs to determine whether online gambling will hurt brick-and-mortar casino revenues. Industry studies say it won’t – but a fiscal analysis of Manning’s bill by the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency predicted it would.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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