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Indiana sports betting is moving toward the front of the line for legalized, state-regulated wagering.
On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced an IN sports betting bill (S 552) by a 17-6 vote, sending it to the floor. The Senate already passed a version of this bill in February, albeit with a few small differences to reconcile across chambers.
If lawmakers can keep the wind in their sails, the Hoosier State has a chance to become the ninth in the US with legal sports betting.
Tuesday’s hearing centered around several amendments, including a comprehensive one filed by Rep. Todd Huston. Huston’s proposal featured some notable changes to the bill’s sports betting provisions:
Huston reiterated that his amendment centers on retail and on-site mobile Indiana sports betting only.
Provisions for statewide mobile betting were present at introduction before being deleted to skirt opposition in another committee. Although some lawmakers expect the language to reappear in future amendments, Huston declined to fight that battle in Ways and Means.
None of his proposed changes required a great deal of discussion. Complex adjustments to casino licensure within the multi-faceted bill occupied the bulk of the committee’s time on Tuesday.
After nearly two hours of consideration, the group advanced the amended Indiana sports betting bill with a favorable recommendation.
With the committee report attached, the bill now heads to the House floor for some additional work. If passed in full, any changes would then need to go back to the upper chamber for concurrence, then onto the governor for the last word.
Somewhere along the way, we expect to see those mobile provisions reinserted — or at least debated heavily. Attempts to bring the two chambers together on this bill may wind up in conference, but the sponsors believe that their colleagues generally understand the importance of a statewide market.
Although the timeline isn’t a factor, for now, lawmakers are no doubt keeping an eye on the calendar. The session runs through April 29, but some expect to be done making laws in Indianapolis a few days early this year.