Indiana could expand casino gambling to the internet just two years after bringing sports betting online.
In mid-January, online casino legislation hit the table in Indianapolis, and with it included a potential for Indiana to allow regulated poker sites to share player pools with their sister sites in other states where it’s also regulated. Under a provision of House Bill 1406, Indiana gaming regulators could enter into deals for “out-of-state” wagering to the benefit of operators and consumers.
Below is the section of the proposed law that would pertain to online poker liquidity sharing:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, wagers may be accepted under this article from persons who are not physically present in Indiana if the commission has determined that: (1) accepting the wagers is not inconsistent with federal law or the law of the jurisdiction in which the person placing the wagers is located; or (2) the wagering is conducted pursuant to a reciprocal agreement to which Indiana is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.
With the coast looking increasingly clear with regards to online poker liquidity sharing not violating federal law, Indiana would likely take advantage of the opportunity, if it legalizes and regulates online poker.
Online poker’s U.S. expansion
A little over a week ago, Michigan began online casino gambling/sports betting, and a sole online poker offering from PokerStars hit Wolverine cyberspace this past Friday. PokerStars would surely launch in Indiana if the state law permitted.
Currently, only Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware allow liquidity sharing on Caesars’ WSOP platform. PokerStars isn’t live in Nevada or Delaware and doesn’t look to be coming to either state anytime soon.
Pennsylvania is another online poker state that Indiana could link up with, along with West Virginia, which has it legalized but doesn’t have an active poker platform. Other states like Connecticut, New York, Kentucky, and North Dakota are currently looking at online poker.
Indiana has about 6.7 million residents, far less than Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, but more than double that of Nevada. Indiana would be a nice addition to any liquidity sharing arrangement.
It is worth noting that there is no guarantee the “out-of-state” wagering provisions make it into the final bill in Indiana, but it would be a poor decision to omit them if the state is hoping to have a successful online poker market.
A companion online gaming bill sits in the Indiana Senate.
The chances of online casino/poker legalization in 2021 remains unclear.