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Indiana Sports Betting Launch Dates Confirmed

The Ameristar Casino, East Chicago

It’s all systems go in Indiana, with three sportsbooks at casinos set to launch on September 1 – the day sports betting becomes legal in the in the Hoosier State.

Two more will open just a couple of days later, according to regulators, with the majority of authorized operators aiming to be up and running by week 2. Ameristar Casino East Chicago and Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, both owned by Penn National Gaming, will get the ball rolling on day one, while the Horseshoe Hammond Casino, operated by Caesars Entertainment and located about 15 miles from Chicago, is targeting a September 4th launch.

Penn National Gaming has said Ameristar East Chicago will offer a betting counter and large odds boards at the casino’s sportsbook, along with betting kiosks. To mark its opening, two Chicago Bears legends, Mike Ditka and Devin Hester, will place ceremonial wagers. Located in the Hops House 99 sports bar, Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook will offer a betting counter, betting kiosks and “dozens” of TV’s to watch the sports action. Anthony Muñoz, former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle, and Tony Pérez, former Cincinnati Reds first baseman, will place the first wagers to mark its opening.

We know that William Hill will also go live in the state at the Eldorado Resorts’ Tropical Evansville Casino in early September, pending regulatory approval by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC)

Boyd Gaming’s Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City is going for a September 5 launch. Its sportsbook will be operated by industry heavy operator, FanDuel. French Lick Casino, located next to the French Lick Resort, will quickly follow suit on September 6th.

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Here’s a list of when other properties in the state will open sportsbooks, pending regulatory approval.

  • Winner’s Circle off-track betting in Downtown Indianapolis: Sept. 3
  • Belterra Casino in Florence: Sept. 9
  • Winner’s Circle off-track betting in Clarksville: Sept. 12
  • Winner’s Circle off-track betting in New Haven: Sept. 19
  • Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson: Sept. 19
  • Tropicana Evansville: September
  • Horseshoe Southern Casino in Elizabeth: September

Before any of the above are allowed to take wagers on the proposed dates, operators need to complete a number of requirements. The full list provided to operators by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) is as follows:

  • Internal controls
  • House rules
  • Certification approvals from independent gaming test labs
  • Drop route plan and waiver requests
  • Minors plan
  • Surveillance plan
  • Cage/cashiers plan
  • Kiosk plan
  • Server location
  • Job descriptions and organizational charts
  • Staff training
  • Betting catalog that meets IGC’s directives regarding wagers and events
  • Integral third parties licensed

None have completely finished, according to Sara Gonso Tait, executive director of the IGC, who said It’s a really fluid process. There’s a lot of moving pieces that go into a go-live launch. We do what we can to be ready to receive submissions and expedite where we can.

Mobile sports betting not in sight just yet

The situation as regards mobile sports betting in Indiana is less clear as, according to Tait, the IGC has not received any requests from operators to launch mobile betting platforms. She said: A lot of jurisdictions have told us as regulators that retail is easier to launch because it folds into existing casino operations. Wisely, I think casino operators have chosen to do this two-tier approach. Right now, efforts are all on the retail side, but we’re still preparing to receive mobile requirements.

So sports bettors in Indiana will have to wait at least a month longer – October being the best case scenario – before they can place bets online via browsers and apps. Another state looking to capitalize on the success of mobile Sportsbooks, like in New Jersey, Indiana will be hoping for similar outcome.

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