Saturday January 10,2015 : INDIANA INITIATIVE FOR LEGALISED SPORTS BETTING
Move by state representative to legalise sports betting and daily fantasy sports.
The massive potential of legalised sports betting and its value added daily fantasy sports industry has persuaded Indiana state Representative Alan Morrison to introduce two new bills, HB 1073 and HB 1074.
HB1073 seeks to legalise intrastate sports betting at the state's casinos, racinos and off-track betting venues…with one important proviso; only if the Indiana Gaming Commission agrees it is permissible under federal law.
This is possibly a move to avoid the legal confrontation that new Jersey finds itself in due to opposition from the national sporting leagues, which want to retain the restrictive Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act
HB1074 proposes that state racinos Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino be allowed to offer fantasy sports games.
Morrison, who has a master's degree in sports management, says that momentum is building nationally toward the liberalisation of sports betting instead of confining it to just four states.
And he predicts that the explosive growth of daily fantasy sports wagering will continue; both represent opportunities for the state to enhance its tax revenues, he says.
"Gaming is something that this state has become extremely reliant upon, that revenue," Morrison said in introducing his bills. "As it's been trending down, it's incumbent upon us to figure out how to fix it or to improve on what we have."
In November, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver advocated legalising sports betting across the nation,
writing in The New York Times, "There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events."
Meanwhile leading daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have been signing partnerships with national league franchises in basketball, football and hockey.
The Indiana State Legislative Services Agency estimates that that legalised sports betting could add anywhere between $12 million and $70 million annually to state tax revenues.
Representative Morrison says he has discussed the issue with the NCAA, an organisation notorious for its opposition to expanded sports gambling.
"I certainly understand and respect where they're coming from," Morrison said. "But, again, if this changes nationwide, I would imagine that most states would add sports wagering to their gaming activities."
The NCAA, he said, would "probably have to take a look at their stance and understand it's time to change."
"There's a lot of money that floats around out there," Morrison said, "where if it were captured in some form or fashion, and revenue is able to be realized for the state, it could mean a lot."