The Journal Gazette
Thursday, August 29, 2019 1:00 am

Sports wagering legal across state

Casinos, OTBs eager to launch

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers around the state are now free to legally gamble on a bevy of sports such as football, racing, darts and sailing.

The Indiana Gaming Commission on Wednesday signed off on the rules for sports wagering, and casinos and off-track betting facilities will be unveiling their sports books starting Sunday through the rest of the month.

That includes the New Haven Winner's Circle OTB, which goes live Sept. 19, subject to regulatory approval.

But the entrance into mobile betting is still up in the air as casinos focused first on retail locations and will next add online wagering to the mix.

Gaming Commission Executive Director Sara Tait said the state hasn't received a formal request to launch mobile from any operator yet but regulatory work on mobile betting is ongoing.

“The operator focus is on retail right now. But we are in a very good position to do a quick pivot to mobile,” she said.

Lawmakers authorized legal sports wagering this year after a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned a federal law banning state sports betting.

Indiana is now the 12th state with legalized sports betting.

Instead of stand-alone betting locations, the legislature chose to tie sports gaming to existing casinos and related facilities. To bet, a person must be 21 and located in Indiana. Geofencing technology allows vendors to block people outside Indiana.

The new law prohibits betting on high school or youth sports. In-play wagering is permitted if approved by the commission. These are bets during a game on what might happen next.

Tait announced the first five official launch dates – Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Sunday; Ameristar in East Chicago. Sunday; Hollywood in Lawrenceburg, Sunday; Horseshoe Hammond, Sept. 4; and French Lick, Sept. 6.

Several casinos are planning launch events with celebrities placing the first bet. Ameristar will have former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and retired player Devin Hester on hand, according to a news release. Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson is set to do the honors at Belterra in Florence on Sept. 9. 

Where and when

Here is when Indiana casinos and off-track betting facilities tentatively plan to launch their sports books:

• Ameristar in East Chicago – Sept. 1

• Tropicana in Evansville – September

• Belterra in Florence – Sept. 9

• Blue Chip in Michigan City – Sept. 5

• French Lick – Sept. 6

• Horseshoe Hammond – Sept. 4

• Hollywood in Lawrenceburg – Sept. 1

• Horseshoe Southern Indiana – Sept. 12

• Indiana Grand in Shelbyville – Sept. 1

• Hoosier Park in Anderson – Sept. 19

• Winner's Circle OTB Indianapolis – Sept. 3

• Winner's Circle OTB Clarksville – Sept. 12

• Winner's Circle OTB New Haven – Sept. 19

• Rising Star in Rising Sun – coming soon

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