(Population of 6.597 million as of 2014)
According to the Fairfield Citizen Online, Indiana lawmakers are looking to address the state's rapidly declining gambling revenue. In 2009, the state collected $876 million in casino taxes, but that’s dropped to $752 million in 2013 due in no small part to casinos opening in nearby Ohio.
According to Senate President Pro Tem David Long, he hopes the issue will be assigned to a summer study committee.
"The whole issue seems to revolve around the expansion of gaming and what do you interpret that to mean," Long said. One possibility for expansion is online gaming, but don’t expect Indiana to even consider it.
Indiana is a conservative red state, and Republican Governor Mike Pence is an opponent of iGaming. In fact, the Sheldon Adelson ally recently sent a letter to the Indiana Congressional Delegation stating his opposition.
“While I do not intend to allow Internet gambling in Indiana, some states have since moved forward with Internet lottery sales and other forms of Internet gambling,” Pence said in the letter. “I believe it is necessary for Congress to restore the original interpretation of the Wire Act that prohibited Internet gambling nationwide, and I encourage you to support legislation that would accomplish this end.”
Don’t expect any iGaming movement in Indiana anytime soon, but if casino revenue continues to decline, don’t be surprised if lawmakers suddenly have a change of heart.
With former Gov. Mike Pence serving as the vice president of the United States, online gambling may have a chance. Pence support a federal online gambling ban, but with casinos already operating in the state and the state needing some quick revenue, it may get the leeway it needs in 2017, according to Online Poker Report.
Indiana is still a conservative state, though, so here’s to hoping a bill will come in to show the state’s true colors when it comes to gambling. Fingers crossed for now.