Make it 15.
On Thursday, the Indiana Gaming Commission issued a temporary sports betting certificate of authority to Spectacle Entertainment’s Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Ind. It is the 15th brick-and-mortar facility in the state to receive a certificate for sports wagering.
Majestic Star hasn’t received a “go live” authorization, so no retail opening is pending.
According to an Aug. 30 report from the Chicago Tribune, it appears Majestic Star is more interested in online/mobile wagering than a retail sportsbook.
From the report:
“John Keeler, vice president and general counsel for its owner, Spectacle Entertainment, said they would be applying for a license for mobile betting, where patrons can place a wager on a sporting event via a mobile device anywhere in the state … ‘We should be ready for that by the Super Bowl,’ Keeler said.”
The Gary casino will eventually become Hard Rock Gary, under a partnership with Hard Rock International. The casino will also be moved inland to a more desirable location in downtown Gary.
It appears that the $400 mm Hard Rock Gary Casino will eventually have a sportsbook, when it opens in 2021, but in the meantime it will wade into the waters of online gambling.
In August, some details about the project were revealed during a local government meeting. Hard Rock Gary is envisioning a relatively small 20-seat sports bar connected to a sportsbook.
In the regulated New Jersey sports wagering market, 85% of the total sports wagering handle comes via the internet. By the time Hard Rock Gary opens its doors, the Hoosier State could be seeing a similar breakdown in betting activity. A retail sportsbook from Hard Rock Gary would also have to compete with books at the nearby Horseshoe Hammond, a Caesars property, the Blue Chip Casino, which is equipped with a FanDuel Sportsbook, and Penn National Gaming’s Ameristar Casino East Chicago.
Hard Rock International partnered with Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) for sports wagering. It’s unclear if GiG will be involved with the Hoosier State market, but it looks to be a good bet.
Just today, Hard Rock International and GiG extended their partnership to the state of Iowa, which kicked off both retail and online/mobile sports wagering last month.
Indiana is expected to see its first online betting platforms launch this fall.