Sports betting is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, and states have been lining up to join the trend. States on the East Coast were primarily the ones who were passing new laws, but that has changed in recent months. States in the Midwest have been talking about legalizing sports betting for a little while, and Indiana decided to pull the trigger. The Indiana legislature waited until the very last minute to get a bill passed, but it has been signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb.
Sports betting should be up and running by the time the Indianapolis Colts take the field this fall, and in plenty of time for basketball to start. Folks in Indiana love their sports, most notably basketball, and sports betting should be a huge hit in the Hoosier State. The addition of mobile and online wagering will also bring in a ton of revenue for the state of Indiana.
AT A GLANCE
Status of Betting AT A GLANCE: Governor Holcomb signed a sports betting bill into law on May 9, and things are starting to fall into place to get things up and running. The state will begin taking applications for a sports betting license at the beginning of July, and things should go live sometime in late August.
Where to Bet AT A GLANCE: Sports betting in Indiana will be available at casinos, racetracks, and off-track betting facilities. With the passing of this new law, there could be other retailers that apply for licenses to accept bets as well. After much debate, the state also included legislation that will allow for mobile and online betting through approved vendors.
Teams AT A GLANCE: The state of Indiana only has two major professional sports teams, and both of them are located in the city of Indianapolis. The Pacers and Colts are both extremely popular throughout the state, but basketball rules the Hoosier State. Betting on the Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team, as well as college basketball will be huge in the state.
Status of Sports Betting
The Midwest portion of the United States has a deep and rich history in sports, and it was only a matter of time before sports betting made its way into those states. Indiana began discussing the possibility of legalizing sports betting in 2018, but they became more serious about it in March of 2019. There was plenty of debate and discussion that went on before a bill was actually proposed, but it ended up passing right at the end of April. Sports betting is expected to go live sometime before the 2019 NFL season starts, which will feature the Indianapolis Colts.
As of May 8, 2019, sports betting is legal in the Hoosier State, but it is going to take them some time to get things up and running. Indiana is going to utilize brick and mortar locations as well as mobile and online betting, which will give them the best chance to bring in a ton of money. There are currently more than 12 casinos in operation throughout Indiana and they will be given the first chance to apply for licenses to start accepting bets. Racetracks and off-track betting establishments will also be able to purchase a license to take bets starting July 1.
High school basketball might be the most popular sport in the state of Indiana, but fans will not be able to place bets on amateur events. Bets on esports are also illegal, but that could change at some point in the near future. You must be at least 21 years old to place a bet in the state of Indiana, and the Indiana Gaming Commission will oversee the new industry. The state is charging a $100,000 initial fee to apply for a sports betting license, which is actually pretty cheap compared to some other states.
Where to Bet Sports
Several states have included language that will allow major sports stadiums to apply for a sports betting license, but that isn’t the case in Indiana. Casinos, off-track betting sites and racetracks will be the only establishments able to apply for an initial license, although retail locations could pop up eventually. That might be hard for some sports bettors who aren’t near any of these locations, but the state helped them out as well. Fans who prefer the luxury of placing bets on their mobile device will be able to do that as well, although it could take a little longer to go live.
Horseshoe Casino Hammond: The biggest casino in Indiana is the Horseshoe Casino Hammond. Horseshoe Casino has over 3,000 gaming machines and 100 table games, and will most likely be the leader in sports betting as well. This casino has gotten great reviews by its customers, and adding sports betting should increase the popularity of this venue. Hammond is in the Northeast corner of the state, and might be too long to travel for folks in downstate. This casino is located just over two-hours from Indianapolis, and there should be plenty of Pacers and Colts fans who visit this establishment.
Indiana Grand Casino: A better option for people who live in Indianapolis will be the Indiana Grand Casino in nearby Shelbyville. This is the second biggest casino in the Hoosier State, with over 2,220 gaming machines. There isn’t much else to do inside of the casino at this point, but that will change with the addition of sports betting. The Indiana Grand Casino is a hot-spot for fans traveling to and from sporting events in Indianapolis, and they should see plenty of action during the fall and winter months. There are also races that take place at this location throughout the year, and it will now be legal to place bets on these races.
Harrah’s Hoosier Park: Harrah’s Hoosier Park is located in Anderson, Indiana and they should be able to transition into sports betting pretty smoothly. There is already a horse-racing track on site, and betting on the races has been legal in Indiana already. Anderson and Indianapolis are less than an hour drive apart, and Colts and Pacers fans won’t mind making that drive to place some bets on their favorite teams. This isn’t one of the biggest casinos in the state, but their familiarity with taking bets already should make it a leader in sports betting when things officially go live this fall.
Sportsbook Apps: The state of Indiana approved state-wide mobile wagering, but this might take longer to get going than the retail locations. A mobile sports betting app will have to be associated with a brick and mortar facility, which could take the process even longer to get going. There are plenty of major sports betting providers who are looking to partner with new states offering sports betting, and things should run pretty smoothly when things go live. Traveling to a casino or racetrack can be a pain for some people, and betting through a mobile device is the quickest and easiest.
We have also started compiling some more specific “city by city” betting information for you below:
Roll Out Could Be Delayed: An Indiana Gaming Commission official believes that it could take longer than expected to fully roll-out the new sports betting industry in the state. The state believed that things would be up and running before September 1, but the Gaming Commission has started to warn that it might not be the case. The application process is the main reason that things might take a little longer to get going, as well as providing a brief testing period before rolling it out to the rest of the state. The Indiana Gaming Commission does anticipate that NFL fans will be able to start making bets at some point during the early season.
Illinois Could Be a Threat: Indiana might have been the first in the Midwest to legalize sports betting, but they were quickly followed by several of their neighbors. The state of Illinois just recently legalized sports betting as well, and that could spell trouble for the revenue in Indiana. Many of the casinos in Indiana are located just outside the city of Chicago, IL and that could play a factor in what states sees the most betting action. Indiana had hoped to attract sports bettors from Illinois, but there will be places to bet right inside the city of Chicago. Indiana will likely do well with their mobile and online industry, but that could take awhile to get going.
Colleges Leery of New Law: Shortly after Governor Holcomb signed the new sports betting bill into law, several of the major colleges and universities throughout the state expressed concern about the new industry. Colleges and universities are worried about protecting the integrity of their sport, and betting is often viewed as a negative by the NCAA. Point shaving scandals are not common in college athletics, but there have been a few cases in the 21st century. With so many terrific college sports teams located in the Hoosier State, everyone will be on high alert to protect the integrity of their sport and of their teams.
Sports Teams That Drive Betting
There aren’t a ton of professional sports teams within the state of Indiana, but there are plenty of die-hard sports fans. Basketball is the most popular sport in the Hoosier State, but they will follow almost any sport. The professional teams are located in the capital city of Indianapolis, but there are terrific sports teams littered throughout the state. If sports betting is going to bring in revenue to the state then it will be the following teams that get things going.
Indiana is a huge basketball state, and the most popular team is without a doubt the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers play their home games in downtown Indianapolis and there will be plenty of action on game nights. The NBA has done a great job of growing and promoting their brand in recent seasons, and the Pacers should help to grow and promote sports betting in the state of Indiana.
The Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984, and they have had some periods of great success. Even though football isn’t the most popular sport in the state, Indiana residents have fallen in love with their NFL team. The National Football League has shown an interest in being involved in the sports betting industry, and the Colts should drive sports betting in Indiana.
Even though the state has only three professional sports franchises, they have a trio of terrific universities. Notre Dame, Purdue, and Indiana all have proud histories in athletics, and they are all extremely popular throughout the state. Notre Dame is more known for their football, while Purdue and Indiana are great basketball schools. There will be plenty of action when these teams are playing sports in the fall and winter.
The Indiana Fever are a member of the Women’s National Basketball Association, and are one of the most popular teams in the league. The WNBA might not be that popular throughout the country, but Indiana residents will root for and watch any basketball. Don’t be surprised if the Fever help drive sports betting throughout the state of Indiana.
There is no doubt that most of the betting action in the state of Indiana will be on basketball, but don’t sleep on the other sports as well. The Pacers have the biggest fanbase inside of the state, but the Colts are huge in the city of Indianapolis. Not all states have included college betting into their new law, but Indiana was wise in doing that with their terrific college sports teams.
Casino Legal Status: There are 13 casinos currently in operation in the Hoosier State. These casinos are able to offer gaming machines as well as table games.
Sports Betting Legal Status: Sports betting is legal in Indiana as of May 9, 2019, but the official start date will be sometime in September. Mobile and online betting are also legal with an expected start date of 2020.
Horse Racing Legal Status: Betting on horse racing is legal at authorized off-track betting establishments in Indiana. As of May, 2015, it is legal to place online bets on horse and greyhound races.
Poker Legal Status: Playing poker at a casino is legal in Indiana, however the state is very strict when it comes to playing online poker through an unauthorized website or app.
DFS Legal Status: Fantasy sports and DFS games were legal in the state of Indiana before the new sports betting law was passed. Fantasy sports is considered a game of skill, and those are legal in the Hoosier State.
Lottery Legal Status: Hoosier Lottery is the official name of the lottery operated by the Indiana State Lottery Commission. The Indiana State Lottery Commission does operate a mobile app to accept online play.
Sports Betting Timeline
- September 1, 2019: Anticipated start date of betting at retail locations
- July 1, 2019: Application process begins for retail locations
- June 3, 2019: Indiana Gaming Commission warns of possible delays.
- May 9, 2019: Governor Holcomb signs bill into law.
- April 25, 2019: Indiana legislature approves sports betting bill.