The Hoosier state ushered in legal sports betting in Sept. 2019, making it the 13th U.S. state, and the second Midwestern state, after Iowa who launched on Aug. 15, to go live with the industry. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana’s sports wagering bill into law on May 8, 2019
Over that summer, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) awarded 14 temporary Certificates of Authority to casinos and six temporary vendor licenses to sportsbook providers. Emergency temporary regulations were approved on Aug. 28., allowing the sportsbook launches to begin.
On Sunday, Sept. 1, sports wagering became officially legal in Indiana, with Gov. Holcomb placing the first bets — one on the Colts and Pacers to win their respective championships, and another on the Indiana Fever (WNBA) to win their contest that night (they lost). In total, three licensed sportsbooks opened up shop ahead of the 2019 NFL season.
Retail betting at physical sportsbooks in casinos, racetracks, and OTB parlors is becoming available to Indiana bettors first. As for mobile sportsbooks, the goal is for the first apps to get up-and-running in October 2019 on the early side, or at least before the winter.
Indiana land-based sportsbooks
Currently, 15 physical properties — a mix of casinos, racetracks, riverboat, and off-track-betting (OTB) facilities — have received sportsbook permits, and as of mid-September, 10 have opened or are scheduled to open by the end of the month.
The sportsbooks vary in size, space, and comprehensiveness of their betting menus and technology.
|Casino||Retail launch||Location||Online/Mobile Launch|
|Ameristar Casino East Chicago||9/1/2019||East Chicago||TBD|
|Belterra Casino Resort||9/9/2019||Florence||TBD|
|Blue Chip Casino||9/5/2019||Michigan City||TBD|
|French Lick Resort Casino||9/6/2019||French Lick||TBD|
|Harrah's Hoosier Park||9/19/2019||Anderson||TBD|
|Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg||9/1/2019||Lawrenceburg||TBD|
|Horseshoe Casino Hammond||9/4/2019||Hammond||TBD|
|Horseshoe Southern Indiana||TBD||Elizabeth||TBD|
|Indiana Grand Casino||9/1/2019||Shelbyville||TBD|
|Rising Star Casino Resort||TBD||Rising Sun||TBD|
|Winner's Circle Clarksville (OTB)||9/12/2019||Clarksville||TBD|
|Winner's Circle, Pub Grille and OTB, Indianapolis||9/3/2019||Indianapolis||TBD|
|Winner's Circle Brew, Pub and OTB (New Haven)||9/19/2019||New Haven||TBD|
Indiana online & mobile sportsbooks
Indiana has more than a dozen properties that could each potentially have three sportsbook “skins,” or unique/separate online brands, open for business. In theory, we could see upwards of 40 online sportsbooks in the state, but if things develop as in New Jersey, there will be much fewer, but still many great options.
At a recent Indiana Gaming Commission regulatory meeting, officials said that no online betting company, along with its brick-and-stick casino partner, had formally requested to go live online yet.
Based on existing partnerships and developments in various other states, we can project that most or all of these online sportsbooks will go online if/when they apply for and obtain regulatory approval.
|Provider||Licensing Partner||Tech Provider||Mobile?|
|Caesars||Caesars Ent.||Scientific Games||Yes|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||TBD (Penn National, likely)||Kambi||Yes|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Blue Chip/Boyd Gaming||IGT/PPB||Yes|
|FOX Bet||TBD (Penn National, likely)||The Stars Group||Yes|
|Penn Sports Interactive||Penn National||Kambi||Yes|
|PointsBet||TBD (Penn National, likely)||PointsBet||Yes|
|SugarHouse/Rush Street Interactive||French Lick Resort||Kambi||Yes|
|Smarkets (exchange wagering platform)||Rising Star Casino Resort||Smarkets||TBD|
|William Hill||Tropicana Evansville||William Hill||Yes|
The Latest Indiana News
Sports betting champion Brandt Iden tries again, with hopes of legalizing sports betting in time for the 2020 Super Bowl.
Ameristar, Hollywood and Indiana Grand set to open sportsbooks Sunday, some with local celebrities -- Mike Ditka! -- to place first bets.
Sports bettors in Iowa can bet on college and pro sports, as the Hawkeye State becomes the first in the Midwest to open for sports betting.
A closer look at future Indiana online sportsbooks
While Indiana gaming properties could technically launch some 40 online betting sites and apps, it doesn’t mean they will all exercise the option in the fullest.
So far the IGC has awarded temporary vendor licenses to the following groups: Caesars Interactive Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, Penn Sports Interactive and Rush Street Interactive.
More of what we know:
- William Hill Sportsbook has forged a partnership with Tropicana Evansville. The casino sits across the Ohio River from Kentucky, and will likely see a lot of action from folks traveling across the state line to plunk down a few wagers. Expect William Hill to enter the online sphere as well, as the operator already supports an app in the New Jersey market.
- FanDuel Sportsbook will house a retail sportsbook at Belterra Casino Resort in Florence and Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City: Everyone saw this coming. Boyd Gaming already owned Blue Chip Casino and purchased Belterra last year. A few months later Boyd Game partnered with FanDuel. The operator has online books in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and will most definitely house a skin in Indiana.
- Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) at Horseshoe Casino Hammond: This full-service casino on Lake Michigan with live music, comedy and boxing is a stone’s throw from Illinois and is sure to draw bettors from East Chicago. A Caesars sportsbook is an added-value draw. Expect at least one Caesars branded online skin.
- Penn Sports Interactive at Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg: The deal Penn National Gaming made in late July 2019 with multiple sports betting operators opens up a smorgasbord of options for the books to own, operate and brand sports betting in the state. Partnerships are with DraftKings, the fantasy sports behemoth that is among the top sportsbooks in New Jersey; PointsBet, an Australian book offering high risk with high rewards; theScore, a new sportsbook spawned by a breaking sports news app; and The Stars Group which is breaking ground with its Fox Bet online app. In the agreement, Stars Group gets 1st skin, theScore and PointsBet get 2nd skins, and DraftKings gets 3rd skin opportunities in the state.
- Rush Street Interactive has acquired a temporary Vendor License at French Lick Resort. Rush Street is active in both the New Jersey (Play SugarHouse) and Pennsylvania markets (Play SugarHouse, BetRivers)
85 percent of betting originates from online in New Jersey, with DraftKings and FanDuel dominating that market. It is possible that we’ll witness a similar track in Indiana and other states.
Indiana sports betting rules and regulations
The IGC drafted rules and regulations regarding sports betting that were subject to public comment through August 1, 2019. They were approved at a panel meeting on August 28.
Among the regulations:
- Operators and vendors will pay a non-refundable $100,000 application fee plus annual renewals
- Sports betting applicants must have a $500,000 cash reserve and partner with an integrity monitor provider
- The IGC opted out of mandatory use of official league data but left open the option of operators and leagues to make their own arrangements
- If a sports league or NCAA believes a sporting event is fixed or manipulated, or otherwise has “good cause” as to why wagers shouldn’t be placed on the event, they can ask the IGC to prohibit or ban bets on the event
- The sports league and NCAA also can seek to create a temporary sports betting “dead zone” using geofence technology
- Casinos must submit their sports wagering system to an independent testing lab for certification
Indiana sports betting: Frequently asked questions
What are the eligibility requirements to place sports wagers in Indiana?
Bettors will need to be at least 21 years of age and possess valid identification. Note that once online wagering goes live, players will not need to hold residence or be in the state of Indiana to set up a real-money account, they’ll just need to have two feet planted in the state to place a wager.
When will the first mobile sportsbooks go live?
Indiana is taking a two-step approach to its sports betting launch, with the first retail books having launched before the advent of the NFL season on September 5, 2019, and online coming at a later date.
What that date is, we do not know, but industry consensus is that we should be seeing the first mobile books go live sometime in October.
How will I deposit money online?
Indiana online sportsbooks are positioned to offer a number of viable depositing and withdrawal methods, including:
- ACH (eCheck)
- Visa / MasterCard credit & debit cards
- PayNearMe: Pay with cash at any eligible 7-Eleven or CVS
- Cash at the affiliated retail casino cage
- PayPal: Probably not going to be available at launch, but later on
- Casino branded prepaid cards (Play+)
What types of bets will be available?
Indiana will offer all the standard bet types, like straights, totals, moneylines, futures, parlays, props, teasers, and round robins, among others.
We should also see plenty of in-play options, as well as the ability to cash out early on select wagers. The latter is a niche used by operators in other states, where players can lock up a win (or take a smaller loss) on pre-game wagers before the final outcome is decided.
What betting markets are available?
Nineteen sports are approved for sports wagering including old standbys like NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Soccer and tennis fans will also be able to get their fix. Wagering on collegiate sports is permitted.
There are a few restrictions worth noting, however. For one, betting on eSports is off-limits. Secondly, wagers on amateur athletes under the age of 18 is a no-go. In-play prop betting on NCAA sports is not allowed either.
It is the discretion of the IGC to limit in-play (prop) betting and data restrictions
What are the tax rates and licensing fees on sports betting?
The tax rate on adjusted gross sports betting revenue is just 9.5% across the board. This is a very reasonable rate that should promote healthy competition among operators, ideally resulting is favorable betting lines and solid promotions.
The fees for a vendor (operator) license is also reasonable: $100,000. There is a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
How Indiana arrived at legal sports betting
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for the expansion of legal gambling beyond Nevada when it overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a law prohibiting sports betting.
On April 25, 2019, Indiana lawmakers reached agreement in the final hours of the legislative session approving sports betting and the construction of two new casinos. On May 8, Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, signed the bill into law.
Before getting his signature, Rep. Ben Smaltz stripped the bill of mobile betting but it was restored right before passage. The bill also passed without a recommendation of integrity fees.
Sports betting in Indiana is projected to bring in $12 million to $20 million a year. Those projections are based on smaller-than-anticipated sports betting revenues collected in many of the states with legalized sports wagering. This estimate seems reasonable given first-year sports betting revenue out of New Jersey, which has a similar regulatory structure, and only moderately larger population.
The tax revenue collected will go to the state’s general fund for education, prisons, health care, state parks and more.