INDIANAPOLIS – Sports betting could generate $466 million annually in statewide economic impact by the fifth year if it's legalized by the Indiana General Assembly, according to a forecast released Friday.
The analysis, prepared for the Indiana Gaming Commission, includes anticipated revenue from both in-person and mobile betting and takes into account both direct and indirect economic impact.
Mobile wagers, coming from phones and computers, would account for 57 percent of sports betting, according to the report prepared by for the state by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming. By the fifth year, the mobile market could increase to 68 percent.
If sports betting were legalized in Indiana, retail (in-person) and mobile systems could bring in $56.2 million in direct economic impact in the first year. Retail alone would generate $30.1 million. By the fifth year, mobile and retail could increase to $256 million annually in direct economic impact.
The analysts project 729 full-time equivalent jobs by the fifth year.
Assuming a 9.25 percent tax rate on sports betting gross revenue, along with licensing fees, the state could receive tax revenues of $23.5 million a year by the fifth year for a total of $89 million in the first five years.
"The major takeaway from this report is that the market here is not pre-determined," Gaming Commission Deputy Director Jenny Reske told members of the Interim Study Committee on Public Policy.
"The size will be determined by public policy decisions that are made regarding many issues, including distribution channels, taxation, the macropolitical environment and the regulatory environment."
The analysis was based on House Bill 1325, which was introduced in the 2018 legislative session.
Currently, sports wagering is prohibited in Indiana. But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May gives states the option of passing sports gaming laws.
The Indiana General Assembly will need to consider the use of mobile devices to place sports bets, including ways to prevent minors from gambling, a national gaming official told the legislative panel.
“Almost every state that has some form of legalized wagering will be considering a sports wagering bill in the 2019 session,” said Kevin Mullally, vice president of government affairs for Gaming Laboratories International.
Football would be the most popular sport, which attracts 40 percent of bettors, according to the report. NBA basketball draws in 21 percent, and Major League Baseball accounts for 19 percent.
If legislators approved it, Hoosiers could bet on a sports event while it was underway.
"I'm looking at this from my own perspective in Anderson," State Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson said. "Once the horse race has begun, you're not allowed to bet anymore. Why should it be any different in sports betting that you can bet once the game is in play or even within sections of the game, other than to simply enlarge the market?"
Representatives from the Indiana Gaming Commission said Austin was asking a policy question for legislators to address.
Hoosiers could go to a casino, sign up for a mobile app and bet on sports while in the casino. Or they could use a betting window or a kiosk, Mullally said. Bettors would sign up in person, proving they are of betting age. Online betting could also be conducted if the user were tied into a credit account.
Software could be set up to monitor out-of-state access, Mullally told the study committee.