Indiana Casinos, Vendors Already Lining Up for Sports Betting Licenses as State Releases Draft Regulations

Posted on: July 10, 2019, 04:48h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 04:22h.

It’s been a busy start to July for the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).

The Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa in Michigan City is one of seven Indiana casinos that have already applied for a sportsbook license. The law allowing sports betting took effect on July 1. The Indiana Gaming Commission is currently holding a public review on draft regulations. (Image:

As a new law that allows sports betting took effect at the beginning of the month, the IGC released the first draft of temporary regulations for public review. In addition, it began accepting license applications from the casinos, racinos, off-track betting parlor, vendors, and sports wagering service providers.

Jenny Reske, the commission’s deputy director, told 16 entities have already applied for licenses. Among the applicants are a dozen facilities. That list includes seven of the state’s 11 casinos, both racinos and all three OTB parlors.

The current applicants include: Ameristar Casino East Chicago, Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa in Michigan City, Caesars Southern Indiana, French Lick Casino, Hollywood Casino and Hotel in Lawrenceburg, Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Horseshoe Hammond, Indiana Grand Racing Casino in Shelbyville, and the Winner’s Circle OTBs in Clarksville, Indianapolis, and New Haven.

Four companies – FanDuel, Caesars Interactive, Penn Interactive, and Rush Street – have applied for vendor licenses.

I’m hopeful especially for our certificate holders, our casinos and racinos, we can issue temporary licenses by the end of this week. Provided the applications are in good shape,” Sara Tait, IGC’s executive director, told

Reske added that even after licensees receive preliminary approval they must meet other regulatory requirements in order to operate. Those requirements include such criteria as a review of their internal controls and proposed technology platforms.

No facility can begin offering sports betting until Sept. 1, the date set by state statute. Tait said, however, it’s too early to tell when some of the sportsbooks will likely open. The applicants will drive that by how quickly they can supply the commission with the information it requires.

“We’ve certainly been told by other states that retail is easier to launch, and it can fold into current casino operations,” she said.

Law Includes Unique Geofencing Option

Indiana’s sports betting law requires the commission to establish geofencing requirements. However, not only must the requirements ensure all gamblers make all mobile bets within the state, the requirements open the door for potentially excluding online betting at sporting events in the state.

State law allows a governing body, such as a professional league or collegiate athletic association or conference, to request such exclusions. To do so, they would need to provide evidence of “a specific and credible threat” that would risk the integrity of betting at the location. The commission also must evaluate whether any other remedies exist that would mitigate the threat.

The language means an entity, such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), could request a ban when Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis hosts the men’s basketball Final Four in 2021 or 2026.

The executive commissioner would have the final authority to approve or deny such requests.

Public Comment Period Open

Indiana published its draft regulations on the same day its sports betting law officially took effect. The gaming commission also labeled the regulations under the state’s emergency guidelines. That means they would take effect immediately upon passage by the commission.

Tait said the initial regulations, if they’re approved by the commission members at their Aug. 28 meeting, would then give IGC staff time to develop permanent regulations for sports betting in the state.

The draft regulations can be found here. Comments can be sent to by Aug. 1.