The Hoosier State on Friday updated its list of approved sporting events for wagering to include the ongoing English Football League Championship.
The Championship is sponsored by Sky Bet, a brand owned by The Stars Group, which recently agreed to a deal to be acquired by FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment. FanDuel is live with online/mobile sports gambling in Indiana. FOX Bet, a product from TSG, is not online in the jurisdiction, though it’s expected to be at some point in the future. Sky Bet is not expected to exist as a brand in Indiana.
The Indiana Gaming Commission adding the Championship to the list means any licensed sportsbook can take action on the games, not just FanDuel.
The English Premier League was already on the IGC list.
Altogether, 19 individual soccer leagues or associations are on the IGC list, the most for any particular sport. Golf is second with 10 unique approvals.
Soccer betting market?
The market for betting on the European version of football pales in comparison to the handle for betting on American-style football (the NCAA and NFL). Still, books rely on a substantial chunk of their handle from sports other than the big three of football, basketball, and baseball.
Through October, New Jersey sportsbooks saw 26.1% of their handle come from sports other than the big three, according to figures from the Garden State. Hockey likely accounts for a large chunk of that “other” handle — and possibly the largest percentage. It’s not known where soccer stands in the U.S.
Globally, soccer is estimated to be by far the most popular sport for wagering, thanks to being played and watched by billions of people. Legal betting could boost the game’s popularity in the U.S.
The IGC addition of the EFL Championship is in an effort to continue to grow the sports betting handle and thus increase monies to state coffers. In October, state-sanctioned sportsbooks handled $91,697,393 in wagers, with 52% of that coming from online/mobile betting.
Unlike most, if not all, gambling regulatory bodies, the IGC makes public the entire list of sports approved for betting. The IGC has emerged as one of the most transparent agencies of its kind in the nascent U.S. sports wagering industry. It also releases online/mobile handle by platform, unlike Nevada and New Jersey.