Help for gambling addiction now part of Indiana gaming bill

Indiana News

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers on Tuesday took another step toward an overhaul of the state’s gaming laws.

Now, potentially millions of dollars could go to help people in the grips of gambling addiction.

The massive gaming bill covers a lot of ground. Terre Haute could be getting its own casino. You could be a step closer to getting live table dealers at your closest casino. You could also be able to bet on your favorite sports team.

Just a couple weeks ago, News 8 told you lawmakers stripped the mobile betting portion of the bill, meaning people wouldn’t be able to bet on the Indianapolis Colts or the Indiana Pacers from a cellphone or laptop at home.

But State Sen. Jon Ford, who authored the bill, isn’t giving up.

“If you look at places like New Jersey, 77% or higher percentage of the bets are coming in on mobile. Because the younger generation like their cellphones,” said Ford, a Republican from Terre Haute.

Before the bill advanced in committee Tuesday morning, lawmakers were still making changes. 

Committee lawmakers accepted State Rep. Todd Huston’s amendment, which would use more than 3% of all revenue from sports betting to help addicted gamblers.

“We felt it was important, since we were creating a new form of legalized gaming, sports gaming, that we recognize that that might mean more people who may need addiction-based services,” Huston, a Republican from Fishers, said. 

“I am very encouraged about the fact that they are acknowledging and giving money to [help] problem gamblers,” said Christina Gray, executive director of the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling.

Also under Huston’s amendment, you’d be able to start betting on sports on Sept. 1. You’d have to be over 21 to do that.

The bill will now head to the House floor for a vote.

If you have a gambling addiction and need help, here are helpful numbers you can call:

  • Indiana Gambling Help Line: 800-994-8448
  • Natioinal Gambling Help Line: 800-522-4700
  • ICPG Toll Free: 866-699-4274

Here are helpful resources from the state of Indiana.

Here are helpful resources from the National Council on Problem Gambling.

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