Unibet, doing business as Horseshoe Casino Hammond, was awarded a Temporary Vendor License by the Indiana Gaming Commission, according to the state agency’s most recent list released Friday.
It was the second Temporary Vendor License awarded by the IGC in the past seven days, with theScore also being approved May 8. Unibet, which is operated by the Kindred Group, gained access to the Indiana sports betting market in February through an agreement with Caesars Entertainment that covered both the Hoosier State and Iowa.
“The process was quick, and the IGC was very responsive,” said Manuel Stan, senior vice president of Kindred US, to Hoosier State Bets. “It was very smooth.”
Stan added he anticipates Unibet being launched ahead of the upcoming football season.
While casinos throughout Indiana are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s remote registration for mobile and online sports betting has eased some of the pain for the 13 retail sportsbooks while providing a smaller stream of tax revenues to the state. The IGC reported a handle — exclusively online — of $26.3 million in April, well off March’s overall handle of $74.8 million and 86% lower than February’s record overall handle of $187.1 million.
Caesar’s, Ameristar, and Rivers to battle for Chicago
Horseshoe Hammond has been one of Indiana’s best overall casinos in terms of revenue, and that continued to be the case since legalized sports wagering began in September. Horseshoe has had the highest retail sports betting handle every month in Indiana and had cleared $10 million each month from October to February — a streak stopped in March due to the pandemic — while generating a cumulative handle of $75.5 million.
Both Horseshoe Hammond and Ameristar Casino have been able to draw sports bettors from neighboring Illinois — specifically Chicago as both casinos are less than 30 miles away from downtown — as the Land of Lincoln did not have legalized sports wagering available until March.
Rivers Casino, which is located on the northwest edge of the city in Des Plaines and the first in Illinois to open its sportsbook, was open for less than a week before being forced to shutter due to COVID-19. The BetRivers Sportsbook likely will also be the first mobile sports betting platform available in Illinois.
Ameristar, which offers mobile betting through DraftKings, has generated an online handle of nearly $187 million this year alone and accounted for more than half of Indiana’s April handle with $13.6 million.
Unibet is the eighth mobile sports betting platform approved by the IGC.