NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - A new casino and legalized sports betting are headed to Indiana.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a new law Wednesday that supporters say makes the state more competitive with gambling operations in neighboring states.
“Gaming is a highly regulated industry that once had little competition, but now does from surrounding states and new technology,” Holcomb said in a prepared statement. “By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers. Additionally, it will bring in new revenue and create hundreds of new jobs.”
Indiana already has 13 casinos in 10 counties and will soon add a new one in Terre Haute.
The addition of mobile sports gaming, where gamblers are able to place bets over phones and mobile devices, is expected to bring a windfall.
Some estimates are as high as $466 million in the first five years.
“Everything was done to make gaming in Indiana more competitive with other states and be able to face that competition,” Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said at an appearance in New Albany.
Indiana competes with casino operations in all neighboring states except Kentucky.
A bill that would have allowed casinos and sports betting in the Commonwealth failed to come up for a vote in the legislature last year.
Greater Louisville Inc (GLI) lists expanded gaming and sports betting as missed legislative opportunities, capable of producing economic impacts totaling $455 million.
“Whatever we can do to draw that tourism, that participation back into the Commonwealth,” GLI Government Affairs and Public Policy Director Iris Wilbur said. “There will be revenues to be had. But every year that goes by where other states monopolize this space, Kentucky loses out.’