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Bettors like their odds as legal sports wagering nears kickoff

Bettors like their odds as legalized sports betting nears kickoff

Dan Klein | News 8 at 10

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new billion-dollar industry is heading to the starting gate in Indiana.

Sports betting will be legal as of Sunday, just in time for the NFL regular season.

The first group of sports books got the stamp of approval from the state’s gaming commission Wednesday afternoon.

The process has been a whirlwind. Just over a year ago, the Supreme Court opened up commercial sports betting. Less than four months ago, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana’s bill, legalizing it.

Bettors like their odds as legal sports wagering nears kickoff

Bettors like their odds as legal sports wagering nears kickoff

Wednesday evening, the ticket slips kept printing at the Winner’s Circle downtown, giving people a chance to bet on horse races all over the country.

Next week though, the rooting interest will greatly expand to other major sports.

“I’m real excited. I love betting football and basketball,” said bettor Josh Hayes.

“I think it’s a long time coming,” added Jim Hodge.

Hayes comes to the Winner’s Circle about once a week, along with 2-3 weekly trips to the Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville.

“When the sports wagering comes, it will be a lot more,” he said. “I’ll be in here more because I live closer.”

The sharks here like their odds. Instead of 10 possible winners to choose from in the usual horse race, there will be just two teams for most bets.

“It’s a 50/50 chance, not a one in 10 chance, so I think it’s going to be awesome,” said Hodge.

Caesars Entertainment plans to open seven sports books around the state in the next couple of weeks, including at the Winner’s Circle, along with their casinos in Shelbyville and Anderson.

“I think it will be crazy busy. I think it will be a great day for the state of Indiana, for the residents, for Caesars Entertainment,” said Ron Baumann, Caesars senior vice president and general manager.

A state-sponsored study last year estimated sports betting would bring in $87 million in annual revenue to Indiana by 2024, a result of a 9.5% tax on winnings, along with other licenses from the casinos.

It’s also expected to add almost 700 direct jobs, a result of legalizing something that many like Hodge said he has already been doing for years.

“Now I can bet at Indiana Grand versus outside sources,” he said.

The Indiana Gaming Commission authorized five sports books Wednesday, including the Indiana Grand in Shelbyville and French Lick Casino.

Baumann expects to have authorization at the Winner’s Circle in time for Thursday night football and in a couple weeks in Anderson.

“It’s a big deal because it introduces a new customer to our property,” Baumann said. “These customers will dine, they’ll drink a beverage, they’ll enter the facilities at our property, they’ll play other games. We don’t see it as a play around sport, but it’s a chance to introduce them to everything we have to offer.”

Mobile betting is the next big piece of the betting puzzle. In the next five years, it’s estimated 68% of bets will be placed on your phone instead of in person. It’s a lot more complicated process. Identifying and registering bettors and making sure they are doing it inside the state line are among the hurdles mobile betting faces.

Baumann would not estimate a timeline for Caesars. State gaming officials think the first could be offered by the end of the year, maybe earlier.

Per guidelines published on Gaming Commission website, you’ll be able to bet on: Pacers(NBA) Fever(WNBA) Colts(NFL) Indianapolis Indian(Triple-A baseball) IU, Purdue, IUPUI, Notre Dame, Ball State, Indiana State(NCAA Division I schools) Brickyard 400(NASCAR) Indy 500(Indy Car) 

However, you won’t be able to bet on:
Indy Eleven (USL) UIndy, Depauw, Franklin, Marian (Non-Division I schools)Indy Fuel  (ECHL) US Nationals (NHRA) 

For a full list of sports, you can bet on, including darts, click here.