It appears the WynnBET sportsbook has either hit a bit of a snag in Indiana or determined a launch right now in the state doesn’t make business sense.
The online/mobile sportsbook was approved to launch in the Hoosier State last Thursday, but as of Tuesday morning it still wasn’t live with either its smartphone app or website to take wagers. Historically, sportsbooks typically launch on the first day they are permitted.
WynnBET, which comes from Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts, is currently live in New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, and Virginia. Michigan kicked off online gambling in January. WynnBET was able to launch quickly in Michigan, but not so fast in neighboring Indiana.
WynnBET is also pending launch in the state of Tennessee.
In Indiana, WynnBET is an online sports betting partner of Rising Star Casino, a property from Full House Resorts. In Michigan, the sportsbook has market access through the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, which offers casino gambling in the Wolverine State.
Churchill Downs, Rising Star’s other online sportsbook partner, took just $100,000 in bets in February.
Tuesday marks completion of the Elite Eight round of the ongoing March Madness tournament, with the Final Four slated to begin on Saturday.
Will WynnBET be live in time for the Final Four? It’s unclear.
The sportsbook might see the competition as too fierce in Indiana to rush ahead with a launch. The first mobile apps in the state launched in late 2019, and rivals DraftKings and FanDuel have a strong lead in the state. In Michigan, WynnBET was able to launch alongside rivals at the same time.
DraftKings alone has 44.5% handle market share in Indiana, according to state figures from February.
Could the tax rate between the two states have anything to do with the delay? In Michigan, there’s an 8.4% tax on adjusted gross sports betting receipts, while in Indiana the tax rate is 9.5%. WynnBET might prefer Indiana bettors travel into Michigan to wager on its app. There’s also the online casino element. The WynnBET Casino MI is more lucrative than the sports betting vertical.
WynnBET doesn’t lack the capability to launch in Indiana right now, as regulators stated in its launch approval that the sportsbook “substantially demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Commission that its mobile sports wagering operation meets the requirements.”
An undisclosed issue might have arisen between the launch approval on March 23 and the March 25 launch date, or WynnBET perhaps determined it’s best to hold off for a bit in Indiana.
Regardless, a delay during the lucrative March Madness tournament wasn’t expected.