FanDuel Opens Indiana Sportsbook at Belterra as CEO Considers US Political Betting Opportunities
Posted on: September 9, 2019, 09:49h.
Last updated on: September 10, 2019, 02:28h.
FLORENCE, Ind. – FanDuel on Monday celebrated the opening of its second sportsbook in Indiana, as executives from the online sports entertainment company and its casino partner, Boyd Gaming, cut the ribbon at the Belterra Casino Resort. It put the cap on a frenzied two-week stretch for FanDuel, which opened four retail sports betting parlors in Indiana and Iowa and launched its online site in West Virginia.
But as legal sports betting is gaining traction and wider acceptance across the country, FanDuel CEO Matt King told Yahoo! Finance last week that the company would like to offer betting on US politics.
“Frankly, we like to offer games that everybody loves to play,” King said in response to Yahoo’s Daniel Roberts question about political wagering. “Our parent company, Flutter Entertainment, does a huge business on the Betfair exchange with political betting. So the reality is it’s just a question of: Will it be allowed from a regulatory perspective? We are working on a couple things that might be more free-to-play, but will certainly tie into the election.”
Work with Regulators
King was not on hand Monday for the grand opening in Indiana. Representing the company Monday was Keith Wall, FanDuel’s vice president of commercial retail.
Wall said he had not seen King’s comments about political betting, but he told Casino.org that it all depends on the regulations.
Ireland, where Flutter is based, and England are two countries that embrace betting on politics. However, those countries, unlike the United States, have centralized federal legislation that oversees betting regulations.
In the US, each state that approves legal sports betting sets up their own legislation and regulations on what can and can’t receive action.
We’ll always work with the regulators to put the best products for customers or whatever the customer is looking for,” he said. “We have the capabilities. Again, it’s all within whatever regulations are set out. We will work with regulators in individual states to try and bring as much product as we can to our customers.”
Currently, the only option for political betting or prognostication in the States is PredictIt, an online exchange that works similar to a stock market. According to its site, PredictIt has approval from the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission to operate as “an experimental project for academic purposes.”
Not Much Political ‘Appetite’
While some states passed legislation that strictly limited wagering activity to just sports betting, Indiana’s expanded gaming law, which was passed earlier this year, gave the Indiana Gaming Commission the ability to approve bets on non-sporting events, state Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) told Casino.org Monday.
However, Ford said he thought that would be applied to something like the Academy Awards, as was allowed in New Jersey this year.
“I think people are a little sick and tired of politics,” he said. “I’m not sure there’s much of an appetite for it.”
Indiana Sports Betting Update
Indiana sportsbooks started taking bets on Sept. 1.
Ford said he’s heard the quick transition went well, with regulators from the Indiana Gaming Commission and industry stakeholders working well together.
While first-month numbers will not be released until sometime in October, Ford said he’s heard the first days at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville and the Winner’s Circle off-track betting parlor in downtown Indianapolis each wrote over 1,000 tickets on their first day.
On Thursday, Horseshoe Southern Indiana in Elizabeth and the Winner’s Circle Clarksville OTB will open their sportsbooks. That will leave the Tropicana Evansville, Hoosier Park in Anderson, Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, and the Winner’s Circle OTB in New Haven as the licensed sportsbooks that have yet to open.
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