Sports Betting Emerges in Indiana

Sports betting continues to spread across the US with Indiana becoming the latest to begin offering services. Three casinos in the state launched their land-based sportsbooks on the 1st of September, with Governor Eric Holcomb placing the first wager.

New Services

Sunday was the very first day that legalized sports betting could take place in the state. The governor authorized a bill legalizing sports betting back in May. The state’s Gaming Commission began taking applications in July for sports betting licensing and so far, 13 facilities have been approved. Ten of the facilities are casinos while three are off-track betting sites.

It was the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago and the Hollywood Casino in the Lawrenceburg area that launched first over the weekend. Two more properties will be launching this week as well, first the Horseshoe Hammond then the French Lick Resort.

The sportbooks have opened just in time as the new NFL season will begin on September 5th. The National Football League is the professional sports group that tends to be the most popular among sports bettors.

Governor Holcomb placed the very first bet in the state at the Indiana Grand Casino. He decided to wager $10 on the Colts to win the Super Bowl. He also placed another $10 wager on the Indiana Pacers to win the NBA Championship.

The governor will be donating any winnings from his bets to the state Canine Assistant Network. The non-profit organization helps disabled adults and children by providing them with service dog partners. The governor hopes to see the new industry help to spur positive economic growth in the state, bringing about hundreds of new jobs and new revenues.

Land-Based and Online Services

Unlike other states, Indiana decided to legalize both land-based and online sports betting operations. The law allows the casinos and off-track betting venues to offer both services if they are approved for licensing. Wagers can be taken on a variety of sports including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, professional golf, boxing, tennis, and more. Players are not allowed to wager on amateur or high school sports.

To obtain licensing, operators have to fill out an application and pay an initial licensing fee of $100,000. They must also renew the license every year by paying $50,000 to the state. As far as taxes are concerned, the new industry has a tax rate of 9.5% based on gross revenues. The money generated from the industry will go towards the general fund as well as initiatives involving problem gambling.

Over the next few months, revenue reports will begin to roll in and as more operations get in on the action, we will have a better idea as to what the state will earn from the new industry. Most every state that has started offering such services have seen solid revenues. Players have anticipated the launch of sports betting for some time in Indiana and with the launch, are sure to now take advantage of the offering.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.