Indiana looks to begin Sports Betting in time for NFL season

Indiana looks to begin Sports Betting in time for NFL season

Indiana’s State Gaming regulators, have begun accepting applications from July 1 from the Hoosier State’s casinos, horse-racing ‘racinos’ and off-track betting facilities to conduct legal sports betting. Whilst hoping the rollout will begin in earnest to coincide with the biggest sports betting period of the year (NFL and college football), they’ve made no promises in being able to meet the September 1 launch date goal for both in-person and online sports betting.

What’s more likely is that Indiana could take a line much like Pennsylvania did, and launch in-person betting to begin with, followed by an online sports betting launch just 2 to 3 months later.

However, two things we’ve learnt recently, one is that changes can occur rapidly and without warning as states look to get sports wagering onboard (as Maine did coming from nowhere to suddenly announce a full online and land-based sports betting roll out), and that once NFL season is upon us, anything may become possible as more states look to jump on the sports betting cash cow.

How will we get IN sports betting so quickly & what might it look like?

In order to facilitate the desire drive for a 1 September Indiana sports wagering launch, the state government have recently released a draft of emergency regulations to expedite the launch. These regulations reaffirm the details of the Indiana state government legislation passed early in May.

Those regulations include a provision for both in-person and online sports betting. However, it seems that only the land-based version is anticipated to go live on September 1.

Recently, at an Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) meeting in Indianapolis, IGC Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait said a September start date for both forms of sports betting could be a potential challenge, and “we are making no promises” because “this is a tall order, and there are many factors outside of our control.” Tait continued;

“We are engaging with stakeholders and other experts,” she said. “Our process will be transparent and information and updates will be placed on our website. Much of the timing will depend on our operators”

As boss of Indiana’s official state gaming body, Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait anticipates that land-based sports betting at existing casinos could be already in operation “closer to the Sept. 1 date,” while it likely that it could take short while longer before Indiana’s sports bettors can place online sports wagers on their smartphones and/or other electronic devices like tablets and smartwatches.

The Pennsylvania blueprint for Indiana sports betting

As we now know, legal sports betting began in November 2018 at eight land-based casino sites in Pennsylvania, however, online sports betting only became available in the Keystone State in May 2019 because of a number of technological and other oversights.

While Indiana could still yet learn from the mistakes of that Pennsylvanian misadventure and launch online and land-based sports betting together, it’s more likely than a twin launch date will occur; “It’s possible we could have a two-tiered launch (in Indiana),” Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait said.

Other proposed regulations for Indiana sports betting

Further regulations for Indiana sports betting are:

  • no wagering on esports or amateur athletes under 18
  • a tax rate of 9.5% of adjusted gross revenue
  • an initial fee of $100,000 for a vendor license (ensuring big professional online operators like New Jersey’s 888Sport, or the PA and NJ sportsbook and online casino behemoth SugarHouse are bound to be involved)
  • limits on in-play betting, and;
  • a requirement for an integrity monitoring service unit for state operators, with the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA) potentially fulfilling that role.
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