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An Indiana conference committee is reinserting provisions for sports betting apps into the gambling bill approaching the finish line.
The two chambers passed conflicting versions of S 552 this session, and the Senate’s refusal to concur landed the bill in conference. The small group met for the first time on Monday morning to present unified language for passage.
Conferees proposed one last round of amendments, adding statewide mobile betting to the final provisions, according to bill sponsor Sen. Mark Messmer.
Disagreements across chambers primarily involved nonsports aspects of the bill concerning adjustments to casino licensure and location. As expected, most of Monday’s hearing orbited around those provisions.
Mobile was one of the few sticking points within the sports betting language.
The Senate bill authorized statewide mobile wagering as passed, but narrow opposition in the House nearly killed the bill entirely. The lower chamber ultimately passed it as a retail-only measure, and the Senate rejected that change.
Now, it appears the two sides have come together in favor of inclusion.
The unified IN sports betting bill will impose a reasonable 9.5% tax on revenue, with a portion of that allocated to problem gambling. Lawmakers will leave the scope of in-play betting and restrictions on data sources to the discretion of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The original bill mandated the use of official league data.
The conference committee will deliver its first report to the two chambers on Monday afternoon, and there’s a real chance Indiana will be the first new state to legalize sports betting this year. Some procedural steps remain, though.
Since the Senate bill affects state revenue, the House must approve certain provisions independently. Loading the relevant language into a vacant bill (H 1015) and getting that one passed adds one last hurdle to the process.
It shouldn’t take very long, though. The session is scheduled to continue for another week in Indianapolis, but lawmakers plan to adjourn as early as Wednesday.
If things go according to plan, Indiana could have regulated sports betting before football season starts this fall.