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Indiana Gaming Commission considers legalizing internet casino gaming, some fear a rise in youth gambling addictions

This past week, the Indiana Gaming Commission released a 103-page study analyzing internet casino gaming, or iGaming, and considering its legalization within the state. IGaming includes the operation of digital versions of slot machines, table games and other typical casino games through internet channels and apps on mobile devices and personal computers.  

The study was conducted by Spectrum Gaming Group, a non-partisan consultancy specializing in economics, regulation and legalized gambling policy, on behalf of the statewide gaming commission. The report states that if Indiana were to legalize iGaming, its introduction would be a “relatively smooth process” and has the potential to earn between $341 million and $943 million in taxes.  

Despite it being economically beneficial and considered a smooth process, there are still fears of the initiative promoting gambling addictions, especially in younger populations. 

Christina Gray, executive director of the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling, said that unlike more traditional forms of gambling, the main demographic of online sports gamblers are young adults, which could be an indicator of potential trends in iGaming. 

“The largest number of people that gamble on sports betting are males between the ages of 18 and 34,” Gray said. “We’ve seen children as young as 12 with gambling issues.”  

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