Could Illinois Start Losing Booze Sales to Indiana?

After years of stagnation, Indiana lawmakers are making noise about reforming the Hoosier State's onerous alcohol regulations (in case you haven't heard, they don't allow gas stations to sell cold beer, as R Street's Jarrett Dieterle has written about). If Indiana follows-through, Illinois fears it could lose annual alcohol sales to its neighbor since many Illinois residents will likely hop over the border to avoid Illinois' much higher booze taxes. The Illinois News Network reports:

"With high alcohol taxes in Illinois and neighboring Indiana showing an interest in relaxing strict alcohol regulations, Illinois distributors fear alcohol sales could move out of state.  

In Indiana, cold beer can be sold only in liquor stores and no alcohol sales are allowed on Sundays except at restaurants. In a recent poll, though, 71 percent of Indiana supported allowing more cold beer sales and 65 percent approved of Sunday alcohol sales.

Bob Myers, president of the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, emphasized that changes to Indiana’s alcohol sales laws could bring tougher times to retailers in Illinois benefiting from patrons crossing the border.  

'When Indiana changes those laws, it's going to end, causing more competition for our Illinois retailers, and it could end up having a very adverse effect on sales,' Myers said..."

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