The people at the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) must be putting in long hours of late in order to meet the state’s accelerated timeline for legal sports betting. Just hours ago, the IGC updated its website to add William Hill to the list of approved sports wagering vendors.
That makes it five mobile sportsbook operators to receive Indiana sports betting licenses to date.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Penn Sports Interactive, Rush Street Interactive and FanDuel parent company Betfair Interactive US have also received vendors licenses this month as the IGC marches onward with plans to regulate in-person and online betting.
The IGC has set a target start date of September 1st for the first retail sportsbooks to go live and seems to be on track so far. Over the last month, the IGC has issued temporary sports betting licenses to fourteen land-based venues and vendor licenses to five online betting providers.
No Firm Timeline for Indiana Mobile Betting
The IGC has not set a firm date for the launch of mobile betting in Indiana, but the Commission has been moving quickly and we could see the first online wagers as early as October if things run smoothly between now and then.
Casinos that wish to offer mobile betting in Indiana must still await additional approvals from the IGC for internal controls, geofencing technology, identity verification processes and more.
IGD Deputy Director Jennifer Reske explained it this way recently:
“Statutes also dictate that mobile sports wagering may not occur before Sept. 1. We think it’s very possible that there’s going to be a multitier rollout for sports wagering with retail wagering, which is sports wagering happening at the casinos, coming first because that’s much easier to launch and mobile wagering following some point after.”
Matt Bell of the Casino Association of Indiana recently told local radio show Abdul At Large that mobile wagering will likely “trail betting on-premise by a few weeks or months because it’s harder to set up that technology.”
However, local casinos will not be going about this all on their own. Each will be partnered with an experienced online sports betting operator. Each of the operators that have been approved by the IGC so far has already been through a similar process in other states and should have little trouble satisfying Indiana’s regulations.
Looking at the First Five
Under Indiana law, each land-based venue may partner with multiple sports betting vendors to operate up to three individual betting apps (or “skins”). With fourteen licensed venues each able to launch up to three skins, that leaves plenty of room for the nation’s major operators to enter the market.
As of today, five online operators have been approved to work with six of the state’s licensed sports betting venues. Each of the following operators is partnered with at least one casino to enter the Indiana betting market.
William Hill is an old hand in sports betting and will enter as one of the larger operators in the state. Outside of Indiana, William Hill operates 100+ betting shops across numerous states in addition to mobile betting in Nevada and New Jersey.
William Hill is partnered with Tropicana Evansville to operate a retail sportsbook and mobile betting as a part of its larger partnership with Eldorado Resorts. The two also co-manage a William Hill sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City.
As for mobile betting, we can get a sense of what to expect from William Hill based on its operations in New Jersey. William Hill NJ launched last year and now offers residents there a selection of wagers on all the major sports of the world, in-play betting and a $50 bonus for all new customers.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment is another experienced provider that operates retail and mobile sportsbooks in multiple states. In Indiana, Caesars Interactive Entertainment is approved to provide sports betting services to Horseshoe Hammond.
The mobile sportsbook Caesars Casino operates in New Jersey should serve as a fairly accurate preview of what it will offer in Indiana very soon. Over in New Jersey, Caesars Online covers all the major sports leagues, offers new customers a $10 no-deposit bonus and first-time bettors a free bet worth up to $300.
Horseshoe Hammond Assistant GM Noah Hirsch recently told NWITimes.com that construction of a new sportsbook is underway and the casino hopes to book its first wagers on September 4th. Hirsch also said the casino wants to have mobile betting in place by the end of the year.
Since making its sports betting debut in New Jersey last year, FanDuel Sportsbook has become the most dominant operator in the state by far in terms of wagers booked and total revenue. FanDuel now turns its attention to Indiana with parent company Betfair Interactive US approved to provide sports betting services to Blue Chip Casino and Belterra Casino Resort.
Both casinos are run by Boyd Gaming, which struck a deal with FanDuel’s parent company last year for sports betting. We expect to see FanDuel-themed sportsbooks at both casinos and the launch of a FanDuel mobile app shortly thereafter.
If FanDuel NJ is any indication of what to expect in Indiana, we can anticipate extensive wagering options spanning the range of baseball to rugby with pre-game and in-play wagers on offer 24/7. New FanDuel customers in NJ are welcomed with a risk-free bet worth up to $500 and a regular lineup of other promotions.
Penn Sports Interactive
Penn Sports Interactive received a temporary vendor license last week and is partnered with Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg. Both operate under Penn National Gaming, which is also in the process of launching online sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, HollywoodCasino.com offers online casino games and will be launching sports betting soon.
Rush Street Interactive
Rush Street Interactive is authorized by the IGC to provide sports betting services to French Lick Resort Casino. Details on French Lick’s sports betting plans are still limited at this time and casino officials have declined to offer an estimated start date so far.
When asked for an estimated timeline recently, French Lick Public Relations Coordinator Tessa Higgs told a local news outlet this:
“Right now, we are not in a position to expand on talking about the sports betting. We are just moving through the regulations right now and trying to get that all taken care of through the Indiana Gaming Commission.”
Rush Street Interactive also operates PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey and BetRivers.com in Pennsylvania. Both are highly-polished betting sites and each offers new customers up to $250 in bonus funds.