World Exclusive: Indiana Drops Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting, Fantasy Sports

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Thomas Somach
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World Exclusive: Indiana Drops Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting, Fantasy Sport

The State of Indiana is dealing with plenty of issues these days, but two things it won't be dealing with any time soon are sports betting and fantasy sports wagering at the state's casinos.


Efforts by the state to legalize both activities once looked promising but now both possibilities are off the table, Gambling 911 can reveal in a world exclusive report.

In January, Indiana state representative Alan Morrison, a Republican from Terre Haute who has a master's degree in sports management, introduced two bills into the state legislature--one to legalize sports betting at the state's casinos and one to legalize fantasy sports wagering at them.

The sports betting bill, officially House Bill 1073, would have allowed wagering on college and professional sporting events at Indiana casinos, racetrack-casinos (racinos)  and off-track betting facilities.

The fantasy sports bill, officially House Bill 1074, would have allowed fantasy sports wagering at racinos.

At the time he introduced the bills, Morrison told a local newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, that, "Gaming is something that the state has become extremely reliant upon. That revenue. As it's been trending down, it's incumbent upon us to figure out how to fix it or improve on what we have."

It appeared that the bills might have the momentum to become law, as neither the state's governor nor any other state legislators spoke up publicly to oppose the bills.

But, neither the governor nor any other state legislators spoke up to support the bills either.

And that was the problem.

Morrison's press secretary, Jessica Baker, told Gambling 911 on Thursday: "Both bills died in committee."

Typically, bills must be approved by a small legislative committee before they are voted on by the full legislature.

If a bill fails to get the support of the committee, it won't be passed on to the full legislature for a vote and that's what happened to Morrison's bills.

There was no word from the press secretary on whether Morrison would seek more legislative support for the bills and then re-introduce them at a future time.

Presently, sports betting is legal in only four states--Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

Fantasy sports wagering, on the other hand, is legal in almost every state, including Indiana, but only when run by private entities.

Morrison's bill would have specifically allowed casinos in the State of Indiana to offer wagering on fantasy sports.

One potential roadblock to legal sports betting every becoming a reality in the Hoosier state is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which regulates most college sports in the nation and has repeatedly expressed its opposition to legalized sports betting.

The NCAA's headquarters is in Indianapolis, the Indiana state capital and the place where the state legislature sits.

By Tom Somach Staff Writer

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