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Online Sports Betting Goes Live in Indiana

October 7, 2019

With a lot of information starting to leak out of the Illinois legislature related to legalized sports gambling and a host of other gambling topics, neighboring Indiana continues its march towards becoming the sports gambling king of the Midwest. That's for the time-being as Iowa positions itself as another player on the sports and online gambling map.

It took the Hoosier state next to no time to get things rolling. With sports and online gambling passing into law in the middle of 2019, Indiana already proudly boosts 13 retail sports books in operation. The big push was to get sports betting up and running before the start of the NCAA FB and NFL seasons got underway. That box has been checked.

On the heels of such a fast and impressive debut for the state's retail sports books, the focus has quickly shifted towards online sports betting. It was announced this week that not one, but two online sports betting site are officially open for business. The state's first two legal online bookmakers are none other than BetRivers Sports Book and French Lick Casino. Both providers will are also offering online sports bettors access through mobile apps. It's interesting to note that both casinos will be running online sports betting operations in partnership with Rush Street Interactive.

According to Sara Gonso Tait, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, in reference to online sports gambling sites joining in the fray, she stated: “There will probably be one more likely to launch in October, but I think that’s still a few weeks off.”

The number of states that now allow bettors to place sports wagers online and/or through a mobile sits at seven with Indiana joining the likes of Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Rhode Island and West Virginia. There will likely be other states joining this list in the immediate future but for now, these are the first states to join the online sports betting party. With four of these participants also offering online casino gambling, that could well be the next step for the Hoosier legislature.

What does this mean for the State of Illinois? Indiana sports books are likely to reap rewards from Illinois residents due to the fact the Illinois state legislature is slow walking getting all the sports gambling Is dotted and the Ts crossed. The fact is legislation has already been approved to allow for 16 retail sports books and licensing for 3 online operators. That was all covered with the passing of bill S-690 earlier this year.

While the reasons for the delay is not clear, one thing is clear. Illinois could certainly use the gambling fees and tax revenues that are currently crossing the state border into Indiana.


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