A Republican member of the Indiana State Senate has reportedly revealed that his fellow legislators could begin considering a measure that would legalize online casino gambling as early as next year.
According to a Wednesday report from the news domain at PlayIndiana.com, Jon Ford (pictured) has represented Indiana State Senate District 30 since 2014 and explained that his office is already working on language for a proposal that could see ‘The Hoosier State’ introduce as many as 39 online casino licenses.
PlayIndiana.com reported that Ford plans to present his iGaming legislation early next year although the ongoing threat of coronavirus may ultimately delay this timeline as lawmakers seek to prioritize more essential matters such as the Midwestern state’s budget. The 47-year-old legislator for the area around the western Indiana city of Terre Haute purportedly told the source that this could ultimately result in any consideration of his measure being pushed back into 2022.
Ford reportedly told the domain…
“With coronavirus, we’re still at 50% capacity at our casinos. I have no idea when that might be lifted. If we had iGaming, it would give those casinos a way to drive revenues for them and the state.”
The legislator reportedly pronounced that his measure will propose running Indiana’s online casino gambling market much like its recently-legalized sportsbetting sector. This could purportedly see every one of the state’s 13 casinos and racinos being given the opportunity to operate up to three separate iGaming skins under the direct supervision of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
It was further reported that the state surpassed $1 billion in all-time sportsbetting handle last month with Ford proclaiming that his legislation is due to envision locally-licensed iGaming sites featuring the same types of games as are already offered to remote punters in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, he purportedly proclaimed that these will most likely not encompass online poker as this would require legislators to wrap their heads around a large amount on information in just a short space of time.
Ford reportedly declared…
“When we get into online poker, there’s pooling and interstate compacts. That may take more education to inform my colleagues than we’ll have time for next year. They’re still trying to understand in-play bets. If my colleagues surprise me, we’ll be ready to go with everything.”
But Ford reportedly told the domain that Indiana’s success of sportsbetting as well as the recent legalization of online casino gambling in neighboring Michigan could well serve to persuade his fellow lawmakers into supporting his upcoming iGaming measure.
Ford reportedly stated…
“I think we need to do it because our neighbors to the north will have iGaming soon and we need to look at alternatives to help our casinos. I think our success with online sports wagering and the demographics we’re attracting with it shows there’s a whole group out there that we’re not touching. There’s a younger demographic that does not like to go to bricks-and-mortar casinos but they’re gambling online anyway. So, if we can bring them into a regulated market, it gives casinos the opportunity to market to them and get their business.”