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Indiana sees the light as sports betting begins today

Touchdown Jesus

And Indiana said, “Let there be sports betting,” and there were sportsbooks.

Indiana saw that the sportsbooks were good, and it separated the sportsbooks from the back-alley bookies.

Indiana called the sportsbooks “legal,” and the back-alley bookies it called “illegal.”

And there was before PASPA, and there was Sunday, September 1—the first day of legal sports betting in the state.

The Word of Life Mural—more commonly known as “Touchdown Jesus” thanks to the Son of God’s gesture resembling that of a referee signaling “touchdown”—found on the Hesburgh Library exterior facade has watched every college football game played at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN since 1964.

Touchdown Jesus is one of the most iconic images found in all of college football. It is thought to bring good luck among the Fighting Irish faithful, and with Notre Dame kicking off their 2019 season on Labor Day tomorrow, many will surely begin praying that it also helps them cover the point spread.

Indiana became the 13th state to offer legal sports betting today with three casinos—Ameristar East Chicago, Hollywood Casino, and Indiana Grand—opening their respective sportsbooks at noon CT on the first day of the law going into effect.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, who signed the bill into law back in May, placed the ceremonial first wager at the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, owned by Caesars Entertainment.

The Indiana governor placed three bets: $10 on the Indianapolis Colts to win Super Bowl LIV—a gutsy pick after Andrew Luck retired last weekend—as well as $10 on the Indiana Pacers to win the 2020 NBA championship and another $10 on the Indiana Fever to their WNBA matchup tonight.

If any of his wagers hit, he pledged to donate his winnings to the Indiana Canine Assistance Network, a nonprofit organization that allows inmates preparing to rejoin society the opportunity to train service dogs for adults and children with disabilities.

After placing the three wagers, he gave IN sports bettors some wise words of advice in a tweet saying, “As in all things in life, moderation is key. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.”

The governor’s message is one that all lawmakers should echo when passing and signing the legislation, since being responsible and having self-control is the only way to stop problem gambling before it starts.

Two Chicago Bears legends, coach Mike Ditka and returner Devin Hester, kicked off betting at Ameristar Casino Hotel in East Chicago while Cincinnati all-time greats, the Bengals Anthony Muñoz and the Reds Tony Pérez, placed the first bets at the Hollywood Casino & Hotel in Lawrenceburg.

Although only in-person betting at a physical location will be available at first, online and mobile bets placed from smartphones, tablets, and computers is expected to come sometime during football season.

The Indiana Gaming Commission finalized the rules for legal sports betting in the state on Wednesday, August 28 and began authorizing operators shortly after.

There was initially some doubts among IGC officials about whether operators would be ready to accept bets on the 2019 NFL season, which kicks off its 100th season on September 5 with a matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago.

College football betting has already begun, but several of the Indiana casinos and off-track betting parlors worked non-step and managed to beat the ticking clock on meeting the requirements before the most popular betting season of the year begins in the United States.

Indiana becomes the latest state to legally allow wagers to be placed on sports in the nearly 16 months since the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which had prohibited all states—excluding Nevada—from offering regulated sportsbooks.

Today, Indiana joins Arkansas, Iowa, New York, and Oregon as the five states that have launched licensed sportsbooks this year. Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia began offering legal sports betting in 2018.

And the Hoosier State is far the last to offer legalized sports betting. Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington DC have legalized sports wagering this year and are currently pending launch in either late 2019 or early 2020.

Indiana sports betting details

With legal sports betting in Indiana officially underway, here’s everything you need to know before placing a wager at a sportsbook in the state.

Legalized: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Start date: Sunday, September 1 at noon CT

Regulators: Indiana Gaming Commission

Minimum age: 21 years old

Betting allowed: In-person, online, and mobile statewide

Launch locations:

  • Ameristar Casino Hotel ‒ East Chicago (9/1)
  • Hollywood Casino ‒ Lawrenceburg (9/1)
  • Indiana Grand ‒ Shelbyville (9/1)

Coming in September:

  • Winner’s Circle OTB ‒ Indianapolis (9/3)
  • Horseshoe Hammond ‒ Hammond (9/4)
  • Blue Chip Casino ‒ Michigan City (9/5)
  • French Lick Casino ‒ French Lick (9/6)
  • Belterra Casino ‒ Florence (9/9)
  • Harrah’s Hoosier Park ‒ Anderson (TBD)
  • Horseshoe Southern Casino ‒ Elizabeth (TBD)
  • Rising Star Casino ‒ Rising Star (TBD)
  • Tropicana Evansville ‒ Evansville (TBD)
  • Winner’s Circle OTB ‒ Clarksville (TBD)
  • Winner’s Circle OTB ‒ New Haven (TBD)

Mobile launch: TBD

Eligible for license: 15 locations, tribal casinos TBD

License fee: $100,000 fee initially, $50,000 annually

Tax rate: 9.5% of adjusted gross revenue

Tax distribution: Problem gambling resources

Indiana gambling help: Indiana Council On Problem Gambling

Online and mobile account registration requirements:

  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of the social security number
  • Residential address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Card number (debit/credit)
  • Location (For geolocation verification)

Mobile restrictions: Must have two feet inside state lines, Indiana colleges and universities can prohibit betting on its premises

General restrictions: No bets allowed on esports or sporting events where amateur athletes under age 18

Sports allowed: All professional and collegiate sports, and sportsbook operators may offer odds and betting lines on addition sports after approval by the IGC

  • Auto Racing: NASCAR (including Monster Energy Series, Xfinity Series Truck Series), Formula One, IndyCar
  • Baseball: MLB, MLB Draft, NCAA Division I, Minor League Baseball Triple-A
  • Basketball: NBA, NBA Draft, WNBA, WNBA Draft, NCAA Division I, Euro League and Euro Cup, International Basketball Federation
  • Bowling: PBA
  • Boxing: International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organization, Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports
  • Cricket: Men’s and Women’s World Cup, International Cricket Council
  • Darts: PDC Championship
  • Football: NFL, NCAA Division I, Canadian Football League, Arena Football League
  • Golf: PGA, PGA Tour Champions, LPGA, Champion’s Tour, European Tour, International Events
  • Hockey: NHL, NCAA Division I, International Ice Hockey Federation, World Championships
  • Lacrosse: NCAA Division I
  • Mixed Martial Arts: UFC, Bellator MMA, One Championship, Professional Fighters League, Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports
  • Olympics: Summer and Winter (including trials)
  • Rugby: Six Nations, World Cup, World Rugby, Four Nations
  • Sailing: Americas Cup, International Sailing Federation
  • Soccer: FIFA, MLS, UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, Mexican Liga Bancomer, Spanish La Liga, NCAA Division I
  • Softball: NCAA Division I
  • Tennis: United States Tennis Association, Association of Tennis Professionals, Women’s Tennis Association, International Tennis Federation Grand Slams/Majors, NCAA Division I
  • Track and Field: International Association of Athletics Federations, NCAA Division I
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