Indiana Senate approves bill to allow sports betting

NOW: Indiana Senate approves bill to allow sports betting

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- All over Indiana casinos, you can find slots, roulette, and poker. Soon, you could find sports betting rooms, too. 

Indiana lawmakers approved Bill 522 allowing the plan to legalize sports betting. 

One South Bend therapist says she's not betting on a good outcome.

“When access is expanded to any type of addictive behavior, you will see an uptick in the people who are engaging in these behaviors," said   therapist Emily Sussman. 

Lawmakers for the bill say it could bring in an extra $1.6 million into the state's budget for 2020. 

Addiction experts, however, point to a possible hidden cost. 

“My hope is that with any legalization or expansion of something like that, that there will also be money made available for treatment options as well," Sussman said. 

I'm told it's a paradox. On one hand, you have states who expose tens of thousands of people to a potential gambling addiction, but on the other hand, those same states use some of their gambling revenue to also help those who fall into it.

“I know that there are a number of states that do that including Michigan. I'm just hoping that with this expansion that Indiana follows suit and uses some of the tax revenue for treatment," Sussman said. 

Betting on events like amateur high school sports, even video games, wouldn't be permitted.

College and pro-sports would be fair game.

According to recent data, Indiana ranks 27th in the nation for gambling addiction. Sussman wonders if this new bill would bring Indiana higher on that list.

“I'm certainly not a nay-sayer of behaviors and activites that are fun for people epeically when they are legal, but I think its really really important especially with an activity with gambling with the potential to really impact peoples finances," Sussman said. 

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