Major League Baseball is set to return in late July, but the state of Indiana, home to no franchises, couldn’t wait to bolster its baseball offerings in the world of legal sports wagering.
On Monday, the Indiana Gaming Commission added Nippon Professional Baseball, also known as Japanese baseball, to its expansive wagering list. The season kicked off on June 19 and there are games running through November, according to the league’s website.
— パ・リーグ.com / パーソル パ・リーグTV【公式】 (@PacificleagueTV) June 29, 2020
Earlier this year, the IGC approved betting on Korean professional baseball.
In addition to Japanese baseball, regulators added The Basketball Tournament (TBT) to the basketball list.
Like Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association is soon set to return, but Indiana books aren’t going to just sit on their hands. TBT, an open-application, single-elimination tournament with 24 squads, will air live on ESPN this weekend. A winner-take-all prize of at least $1 million is up for grabs. TBT has been around since 2014, and it should gain some increased attention thanks to the NBA’s current absence. Games run from July 4 until the finals on July 14 in Columbus, Ohio.
We're playing 23 games from July 4-14‼️
LIVE BASKETBALL on your TV every single day. pic.twitter.com/SgcT5wrRsV
— TBT (@thetournament) June 29, 2020
In addition to TBT, a slew of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) leagues for both men and women were added to the list. It’s unclear which leagues will ultimately be available for Hoosiers to bet on.
- Australia – NBL
- Brazil Basketball – NBB
- Chinese CBA
- French NLB
- German BBL (including the BBL Pokal)
- Israel Premier League
- Japan B League
- New Zealand NBL
- Spain ACB (including Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana)
- Turkey Super Ligi
Furthermore, the IGC bolstered the wagering options on tennis by adding the following organizations:
- Austrian National Series
- German National Tennis Series
- Spanish Liga MAPFRE
Indiana, like other states, has struggled in recent months due to the pandemic. In May, Indiana’s online/mobile books handled about $37 million in wagers, buoyed by UFC 249 and the Match II featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
That marked an increase from April’s handle of $26.3 million in the Hoosier State.
June will also be relatively lackluster, but July could start a comeback for the industry.
The new sports organizations on the list don’t necessarily mean any or all Indiana books will end up taking action on the events. The way it works is that a sportsbook requests the IGC to approve or deny the organization for wagering, and then it’s up to the sportbooks if they want to follow through on it.
Sometimes organizations are removed, as was the case with some fringe table tennis leagues due to game integrity concerns.