DraftKings Gets OK for Indiana Sports Betting, Joins BetRivers as First Online in Market

Posted on: October 3, 2019, 08:08h. 

Last updated on: July 26, 2022, 12:01h.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) announced Wednesday evening that it has given DraftKings the go-ahead to launch its mobile sportsbook platform statewide as early as Thursday.

DraftKings co-founder and COO Paul Liberman tells Casino.org the company plans to launch its Indiana mobile sportsbook in time for this weekend’s NFL games. The Indiana Gaming Commission gave DraftKings the go-ahead to start taking bets on Wednesday. (Image: Medium.com)

That’s also the same date the IGC gave Rush Street Interactive last week to roll out its sports betting application. One month after the state took its first legal sports bet, Rush Street and DraftKings will be the first online books to open.

We are working through the final details and have every intention of launching in time for this weekend’s NFL games,” DraftKings co-founder and COO Paul Liberman said in a statement to Casino.org.

So far, 13 of the state’s casinos, racinos, and off-track betting parlors have opened retail sportsbooks. When Rush Street’s BetRivers app and DraftKings launch, Indiana will join Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia as the only states allowing mobile sports betting.

Third Online Market for DraftKings

Indiana marks the third state in which FanDuel has launched its mobile sportsbook. After starting last year in New Jersey, the company added West Virginia to its network in August.

In New Jersey, online sportsbooks by DraftKings and FanDuel – rival sports tech companies that got their start in the daily fantasy sports market – combine for about 80 percent of the sports betting market.

In West Virginia, the market is still maturing. Through Sept 21, DraftKings has accounted for $473,284 of the $2.5 million in receipts at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The Hollywood casino still attracts plenty of customers to its retail sportsbook, as it is the closest to the Washington, DC market.

With Chicago and Cincinnati – two markets with professional sports teams, but in states not currently offering sports betting – both on the Indiana border, many experts predict the Indiana mobile market to start strong thanks to out-of-state bettors crossing the state line to place bets, which is similar to what has happened in New Jersey. With mobile, bettors will be able to bet at a highway welcome center or a nearby parking lot off the first exit.

When DraftKings mobile launches in Indiana, it will be the first online book to open as part of the 16-state mega-deal Penn National Gaming announced earlier this year with PointsBet, theScore, and The Stars Group. Those companies will operate skins for Penn National’s casinos.

In DraftKings’ case in Indiana, it will host a skin for the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago.

Rush Street Ready to Launch BetRivers

Like DraftKings, the Hoosier State will also serve as the third online market for Rush Street. In Indiana, the company’s online sportsbook will be branded as BetRivers.com. Rush Street is offering a matching bonus of up to $250 for new customers setting up their online accounts.

“What better time to launch than in the height of football season, the start of baseball playoffs, and just before basketball returns?” said Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, in a release Thursday.

While football is the top sport for wagering, Indiana may also prove to be a strong market for basketball betting. That may be especially true for college basketball, as the state is home to such major teams as Indiana University, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Butler. Also, with Kentucky sitting just to the south, it should attract fans of both the University of Kentucky and Louisville, two schools expected to compete for the national title this year.