Hoosiers Almost Wagering On Sports
Legal Sports Report

Key Meeting Helps Push Indiana Sports Betting Toward September Launch

Indiana sports betting

Indiana sports betting at brick-and-mortar casinos might get a green flag for the first week of the NFL season, but mobile wagering almost certainly will have a red flag.

Sara Gonso Tait, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC), told Legal Sports Report that the start date of retail and mobile sports betting is now in the hands of the individual casinos.

“The timing of the launch is going to be dictated by the operators getting us the info we need to review and approve for launch,” Tait said. “At this point, it’s too early to tell when that will be. There’s a checklist of items that need to be done before launch, and the timing is dictated on the operators getting us that required information.”

Launch proposals were discussed Thursday at the last in a series of sports wagering stakeholder meetings held by the IGC. Operators were asked to provide dates on when they plan to start IN sports betting.

The law authorizing Indiana sports betting, signed by the governor in May, allows for wagering to begin as early as Sept. 1. The NFL season begins Sept. 5.

Mobile a long way from race-ready

Mobile wagering seems to be in the background as Indiana races to the starting line for retail sports betting. Tait said the IGC has yet to receive a request to launch online sports betting.

She made clear that the IGC hasn’t put any restrictions on when mobile wagering can begin. But the operators have more to do in showing the commission that internal controls and geolocation requirements are met.

A good over/under for mobile wagering in Indiana could be mid-October.

“What we’ve heard from other jurisdictions is retail is a little bit easier to launch and it can fold into existing casino operations,” Tait said. “We’re pleased our operators so far have really focused on retail so that we can hopefully get those activities going as close to Sept. 1 as possible. We know Hoosiers are very excited to have access to mobile wagering, but we’re going to launch it responsibly.”

Indiana sports betting allowed on a wide range

Last week, the IGC released a list of 19 sporting events permitted for sports wagering. They include:

  • Auto racing: NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar
  • Baseball: MLB, NCAA Div. I, AAA
  • Basketball: NBA, WNBA, NCAA Div. I, Euro League and Euro Cup, International Basketball Federation
  • Bowling: PBA
  • Boxing: International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organization, Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports
  • Cricket: Men’s and Women’s World Cup, International Cricket Council
  • Darts: PDC Championship
  • Football: NFL, NCAA Div. I, Canadian Football League, Arena Football League
  • Golf: PGA, LPGA, Champions Tour, European Tour, the International events

Each casino operator has the discretion to determine what events out of the permissible list it will accept wagering. Sportsbooks also may submit a request to the commission to accept wagers on an event not included in the list.

What can you bet on in Indiana?

At the meeting, the commission reviewed a directive issued last week on restrictions to the wagers and proposition bets operators may offer.

Unless specifically restricted below, sportsbooks may offer wagers for all approved leagues and events where the results are determined on the field of play and can be confirmed by statistical results. Wager directives are as follows:

  • Wagering on collegiate events is limited to NCAA Div. I sports. For football, that includes the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision.
  • In-play college player propositions are prohibited.
  • Permitted in-play wagers for professional and collegiate sporting events are limited to wagers that are considered settled at a natural game or contest breaks, such as the end of a quarter, inning, boxing round or completed hole of golf.
  • Wagers may be taken on season-end awards up to the time the votes are due.
  • Wagers are allowed league drafts for the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and WNBA, with bets ceasing at the commencement of each round.

More for Indiana to address before launch

The meeting marked the final opportunity for stakeholders to offer feedback and questions on the draft emergency rules, which are set to be finalized at an Aug. 28 meeting of the Gaming Commission (IGC).

Over the next several weeks, the commission will review the written submissions of suggested changes from stakeholders. Tait anticipates some changes to the rules.

In July, the IGC issued temporary sports wagering licenses to 13 casino and off-track betting properties.

Judging by the agenda, steps operators need to take prior to accepting their first wager include:

  • Getting approval for internal controls.
  • Receiving certification from Indiana Testing Lab.
  • Inspection of data center/server storage.
  • Setting up of self-restriction and voluntary-exclusion programs.
  • Meeting geolocation requirements.
Matthew Kredell
- Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with online sportsbook pioneer Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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