While sports remain largely off the menu for Indiana sportsbooks, the Indiana Gaming Commission unfortunately had to pull some options off the table for bettors in the Hoosier State.
Back in March, the IGC added table tennis to its list of approved sports for wagering. Most of the sports world had come to a near total standstill in mid-March due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Citing possible integrity concerns with some contests, the IGC has now decided to remove some of the table tennis associations that had been approved for betting.
“We are suspending the activity out of an abundance of caution,” the IGC said in a statement. “It is not optimal for these events to be held while we are engaged in this review because that could create unnecessary time pressure.”
Last week, ESPN reported that some of the matches overseas have raised red flags for the industry. For example, some of the locations of the matches are unknown; websites with results aren’t updated; and there’s no known regulator. ESPN’s report did not include any known instances of cheating or match-fixing, however.
According to the IGC’s official list of approved sports for wagering, matches under the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) are still approved. However, lower-tiered events such as Setka Cup, Win Cup, and Moscow Liga Pro are off the table.
Big loss for the books?
According to ESPN, sums adding up to six figures are being wagered across the country on table tennis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, 10 states have online/mobile sports wagering, so the handle in Indiana alone isn’t very large.
Legal books were generally keeping bet limits on table tennis small, reportedly rarely more than $1,000.
In April, Indiana’s six active online/mobile sportsbooks — DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, PointsBet, and BetAmerica — took a combined $24.98 million in non-football wagers, which included everything outside the NFL draft. There was a combined $1,559,884 in taxable revenue based on the total handle of $26,303,472.
That wasn’t a lot to go around among the books.
The IGC doesn’t give a breakdown in handle of the different sports that aren’t the big three. Other live sports occurring overseas in April that were available for betting included soccer, rugby, car racing, and cricket.
The sportsbooks are awaiting decisions on possible continuance of the 2019-20 NBA season and potential start of the MLB 2020 season. Those would be major wins for the books.