Indiana lawmaker to propose sports betting legislation

INDIANAPOLIS — A state lawmaker says he’ll sponsor legislation that would make betting on sports legal in Indiana if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey in a case that could open to door for states to legalize gambling on sporting events.

More than 10 states have passed or are considering anticipatory bills to make sports betting legal if the Supreme Court opens the gates, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Republican Rep. Alan Morrison of Terre Haute wants to do the same in Indiana, but his opposition would include the NCAA. The Indianapolis-based college sports governing body opposes all forms of sports gambling. It even bars any of its championship events from being held in Nevada.

“I understand where they’ll be coming from,” Morrison said. “But it’s also important for the NCAA to understand that the landscape of gaming is changing throughout our country. I think they would hopefully have some understanding that Indiana would have rights just like the other states.”

Morrison said restricting college bets in Indiana “would be a pretty big burden” for the state’s gaming facilities.

The NCAA declined requests for comment by the newspaper.

In the Supreme Court, the state of New Jersey is trying to have the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) declared unconstitutional. The 1992 law prohibits sports betting except in a few states.

Michael Pollock of the consultant Spectrum Gaming Group said sports betting is becoming more acceptable, “and that’s only going to continue.

“Whether it happens with a dam bursting, through a Supreme Court decision, or it happens more gradually, it’s going to happen,” Pollock said during an Indiana legislative preview conference.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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