Indiana Gaming Commission To Upgrade Some Sports Betting Approvals

On Friday, the Indiana Gaming Commission will hold a meeting to take care of a relatively substantial list of business matters, including some odds and ends related to sports wagering.

On Sept. 1, the IGC allowed the states first retail sportsbooks to open their doors. On Oct. 3, the regulatory body allowed the first online/mobile sportsbooks to launch.

Tomorrow in Elizabeth, Ind., located outside Louisville, the IGC will address “permanent certificate holders licenses” for 13 gaming facilities that currently have a “temporary certificate of authority” for sports wagering, according to the agency’s agenda. Additionally, the IGC is slated to act on a “re-adoption” of the sports wagering emergency rules. Regulators moved quickly over the summer to implement the gaming expansion law that was signed into law this past May, allowing sportsbooks to open up shop in time for football season.

On the fantasy sports front, the IGC will consider renewals for StarStreet and Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Yahoo recently forged a sports betting deal with MGM Resorts.

MGM does not have a casino in Indiana, but under a July 2018 deal with Boyd Gaming, which does have casino gambling authorization in the Hoosier State, MGM’s BetMGM sportsbook app will eventually have access to the market. Indiana casinos are allowed up to three sports betting partners, or unique online brands otherwise known as skins. Boyd Gaming is also partnered with FanDuel for Indiana sports betting. FanDuel has branded sportsbooks at a pair of Boyd Gaming casinos in the state — Blue Chip and Belterra.

The IGC will also get a presentation from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino, which is in the process of moving its gaming inland and rebranding as Caesars Southern Indiana.

Indiana sports betting report due out Friday

In early October, the IGC released figures showing that the state’s retail sportsbooks took $35.2 mm in bets during September, a modest but respectable handle in month No. 1. On Friday, the commission will make public numbers from October, which will include nearly a full month of sports wagering from Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers platform and the DraftKings mobile app.

FanDuel launched its mobile app on Oct. 21.

Retail books will likely have more handle than the online books in October, thanks to newness of the apps and the fact that there are 13 retail books and just three apps to go live so far. A 14th Indiana retail book was slated to open Thursday. But it shouldn’t take long before the online/mobile books overtake their retail counterparts. October may be the only month where that will happen.

Pennsylvania’s sports betting market is a useful comparison here. The first Pennsylvania online/mobile books launched in May, and it took until the month of July for online/mobile to be the handle leader. Pennsylvania retail sports betting began in November 2018, so the retail books in the Keystone State had a much longer period of taking bets without online/mobile in the mix relative to Indiana.

It is possible that BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel had more online/mobile handle than the Indiana brick-and-stick books last month, but that scenario is likely an underdog.