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Indiana could see delay in start of sports betting

Indiana could see delay in start of sports betting

David Williams | News 8

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A law passed during the last legislative session will allow sports betting in Indiana beginning Sept. 1.

But casinos and other operators have more work to do before they can be cleared to offer sports betting, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Will casinos be equipped to allow sports betting ahead of NFL season?

Drew Jordan is looking forward to sports betting in Indiana.

“It’s another way to bring in income,” Jordan explained. “Something you don’t have to put a lot of effort into to get a lot of return from.”

But he and Hoosiers statewide might have to wait a little while longer.

“As of right now, no operator has met all the regulatory requirements and submitted to us a plan for opening on Sept. 1,” said Jennifer Reske, the deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The commission said there is still work to be done.

“Casinos need to staff up. This is a new offering, so they are filling vacant positions,” Reske explained. “They’re also preparing their sports wagering books, the areas where the activities will take place.”

The casinos will also need to submit internal control procedures and demonstrate to the commission they can properly report taxes. The independent gaming lab must then approve the platform used for sports betting.

“I will say we’ve got several weeks to go,” Reske explained. “We’re hopeful that someone will be able to meet or many will be able to meet the Sept. 1 deadline.”

State Sen. Jon Ford, who championed Indiana’s gaming bill, said there’s a push to have betting available by the beginning of September because NFL season starts just days later.

“The NFL season — I think when you look at New Jersey’s numbers, Nevada’s numbers, Delaware — NFL makes up a huge portion of sports book revenue,” said Ford, a Republican from Terre Haute.

“It sounds like it could be inconvenient if you’re really waiting on it,” said Mason Boles of Muncie.

Jordan doesn’t seem to mind: “We’ve gone this long without it. A little delay shouldn’t hurt.”

What about mobile sports betting?

“Statute also dictates that mobile sports wagering may not occur before Sept. 1,” Reske said. “We think it’s very possible 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.”

Ford said he expects mobile betting to be in place later in the year, possibly by mid-winter.

“In the bill, we put some requirements, geofencing for example,” Ford said Friday. “Age verification. I think some of those systems will take a little longer to get in place.”

The Indiana Gaming Commission has already approved several temporary Sports Wagering Certificates of Authority.