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Indiana Sports Betting Should Be Ready for NFL Season

The state of Indiana is almost ready for business, with a total of eight sportsbooks set to open in September, two of which should be ready by the opening game of the NFL season.

Ameristar Casino East Chicago expects to have sports betting ready by Sept. 1, while Horseshoe Hammond Casino is supposed to open its doors a few days later on Sept. 4.

Kicking It Off

The Ameristar sportsbook location will be located near the casino’s Stadium Sports Bar and Grill. It will have a betting counter, odds board, betting kiosks, and ticket station.

Chicago Bears legends Mike Ditka and Devin Hester will be part of Ameristar’s celebratory opening on Sept. 1. The two will place wagers and shake hands as part of the inaugural ceremony.

Caesars Entertainment, which operates Horseshoe Hammond, hopes to have six more sportsbooks in September. These locations will be at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson, Horseshoe Sothern Indiana in Elizabeth, Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville and Winner’s Circle off-track betting locations in downtown Indianapolis, New Haven and Clarksville.

Horseshoe Hammond (aka The Book) will open the day before the NFL season kicks off when the Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers for the first game of the 2019 season. The 5,300 square-foot sportsbook will have a high-resolution LED video wall, six betting counters, and plenty of lounge chairs and couches.

More To Come

When it’s all said and done, a total of 11 sportsbooks should be operable in the state by September. Boyd Gaming said that it hopes to have sportsbooks at its Indiana casinos (Belterra in Florence and Blue Chip in Michigan City) by next month. Tropicana Evansville plans to have its sportsbook open by September.

In addition to wagering on the NFL, bettors will be able to hone in on the other three major sports (MLB, NBA, NHL) as well as less-popular offerings like cricket, darts, rugby, and sailing. Boxing, MMA, soccer, and the WNBA will all be available as well.

State gaming officials couldn’t confirm any of these launch dates just yet, and Jenny Renske, the deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, mentioned that none of the operators have met the state’s regulatory requirements.

Mobile Not Quite Ready

Mobile betting is still something lingering in the air. Neither Caesars or Penn National Gaming, which operates Ameristar East Chicago, spoke to whether they’ll offer mobile sports betting when their sportsbooks open their doors in the near future.

Indiana gaming officials have previously stated it will probably take longer for mobile betting to hit the public than it will for retail betting. Renske said that most of the operators, if not all of them, will unveil retail betting before mobile betting.

While Indiana is almost ready to go, and Iowa already is, neighboring Illinois is not.

“What’s important to me is we get it right, that we do it right, that there’s integrity in the process,” Illinois governor JB Pritzker said. “Remember, Indiana started before we did. They passed their bill before we did, so I’m not really worried about them getting up and going weeks or maybe a couple of months before we can get it going.”

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