Indiana Sports Betting Will Officially Take Effect On Sunday
Indiana will become the 12th state with sports betting when a "new state law takes effect Sunday," according to Tom Davies of the AP. At least three casinos -- ones near Indianapolis, Chicago and Cincinnati -- plan to "open on-site sports wagering areas that day." Some others plan "similar openings before the NFL season kicks off on Sept. 5." The Indiana Gaming Commission voted Wednesday to "approve sports wagering regulations." Eleven of the 13 state-regulated casinos and all three of its off-track betting parlors have "received temporary sports betting licenses." Caesars Entertainment is Indiana’s biggest casino operator and is "targeting a Sunday start for sports wagering at its Indiana Grand casino in Shelbyville, near Indianapolis." Rival Penn National is also "jumping quickly with Sunday starts planned for its casinos that also tap big nearby metro areas." Iowa became the first Midwestern state with legalized sports betting on Aug. 15. But Indiana’s "proximity to several large cities makes sports wagering available to more potential gamblers." Indiana will "allow the casinos to take wagers on dozens of professional, collegiate and international events, including football, basketball, baseball, auto racing, hockey, soccer, boxing, golf and Olympic competitions." No betting is "allowed on high school or youth sporting events, or e-sports" (AP, 8/30).
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK: In Chicago, Robert Channick notes the Illinois Gaming Board "opened a 30-day public comment period Tuesday as a step toward establishing a regulatory framework to allow sports wagering." Board administrator Marcus Fruchter "declined to give a timeline for when sports betting would go live." The Illinois Sports Wagering Act allows the state’s 10 casinos, three horse tracks and the seven largest sports facilities to "acquire a sports gaming license at an initial fee" of no greater than $10M each. Three online-only licenses "will be made available" at $20M each. Operators "must pay the initial fee" by July '20, but the state has "not even started taking applications" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/30).
TAKING THEIR TIME: Massachusetts lawmakers said that they are in "no rush to legalize sports betting." In Boston, Joshua Miller notes part of lawmakers’ "hesitation stems from concerns that sports betting, even in a region known for its intense fandom, might yield a relatively small amount of tax revenue" in the context of a $43B state budget. Lawmakers said that they are also "grappling with the nuts and bolts of legislation that would aim to protect the integrity of sports, shield consumers from predatory companies, and close down black-market bookies." They are "debating whether to allow betting on college athletics as well as professional leagues, how to tax bets to maximize revenues, and whether to restrict sports betting to casinos or allow bets online or through the lottery." Lawmakers "declined to put a timeline on when a bill might come out of their committee, which could begin the process of legislation going to each chamber, and eventually to Governor Charlie Baker" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/30).