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home : most recent : statewide implications August 15, 2018

6/10/2018 12:11:00 PM
Hoosier legislators cram on sports betting

Niki Kelly, Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Pick up your dry cleaning. Check.

Grab milk at the store. Check

Put 20 bucks on the Colts' game. Check.

Is this the future for Hoosiers? Lawmakers this summer will study whether to authorize betting on sports, and several have already said they will file a bill for the 2019 session.

But there is more to the discussion than just to bet or not to bet.

Legislators will have to decide where the wagering will occur, how to tax and spend the revenue from the newly legal activity, whether betting via a mobile device is allowed and even what sports are appropriate.

“We're in the stage of figuring out the right questions to ask,” said Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn. As chair of the House Public Policy Committee, he will be a major player in the discussion.

“I want to hear what makes it right for Hoosiers or wrong for Hoosiers.”

Matt Bell, president and CEO of the Casino Association of Indiana, said he expects an earnest effort to learn more about the issue.

“The legislature is obviously interested in this topic but there is a lot to learn and a lot to think about,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way last month when it struck down a federal law that banned commercial sports betting in all but four states. Under that law, Nevada was the only state allowed to take single-game sports bets.

On Tuesday, Delaware started offering full-scale sports betting – becoming the first state to take advantage of the recent decision.

Gov. John Carney tweeted that he had placed the state's first legal single-game bet – $10 on the Philadelphia Phillies, which he won.

Alternatively, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb declined to comment, saying it isn't a priority for him.

Related Links:
• Journal Gazette full text

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