Naturally, such a question as ‘Does Indiana need online casinos?’ is subjective, and everyone will have their own arguments both for and against. There are many variables to consider when weighing up a decision such as this, so let’s have a look at some of them to draw our own conclusions.
Did you know that there are twenty Domino’s Pizza restaurants in Indianapolis alone and they all offer a delivery service? No contact may we add, in case you were wondering. The simple reason they do this is to provide a convenient way for their customers to eat their favorite pizza without stepping foot outside of their front door.
While we are not comparing the potential dangers of excessive gambling with a hand-tossed, thick-crust pepperoni pizza, there are parallels between the two.
Indiana is known as one of the more liberal states when it comes to gambling. There are several riverboat casinos on Lake Michigan and a few dotted around the native American tribal lands within the state. As this is the case, an argument could be made that online casinos would also make things more convenient for those who enjoy this type of entertainment.
Legal Sports Betting in Indiana
Furthermore, in 2019, the state legalized online sports betting and already there are a number of popular IN mobile sportsbooks in operation. Is the next step to allow casinos to join in on the action? Of course, these are two vastly different forms of gambling. Sports betting is commonly classed as a ‘skill game’, where your knowledge of sport, the teams and players can help to give you an edge. Many casino games, such as slot machines, roulette and craps, are games of chance.
However, it’s well known that gambling operators tend to make more money from sports. This is because the bookmaker adds a margin to its markets, which is effectively it’s profit (if the traders price the odds correctly and close to equal money is taken on both sides of the betting market).
Back to the issue of problem gambling; something that is very real and should never be taken lightly. Several European casinos impose monthly deposit limits on players accounts. With today’s technology, the regulators in Indiana could do something along these lines by linking all regulated casinos to a central database.
Another concern is the microeconomic impact online casinos could have on their established land-based counterparts. Yet, states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have managed to balance both online and offline. The riverboat casinos will not suddenly disappear as players from nearby Chicago and Indianapolis will continue to enjoy them for weekend breaks and vacations.
Ultimately, we think it will boil down to what Indiana’s neighbor states decide. Online sports betting is legal in Illinois, and it’s under consideration in Ohio. If either of these states went all-in and allowed online casinos, it could force IN to reconsider its current position. In a world where money talks the loudest, the state probably wouldn’t want to see potential tax dollars being used to aid another governor’s budget.
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