Indiana Gaming Officials Unveil First List of Sports Available for Betting Once Books Can Open in September

Posted on: July 25, 2019, 08:18h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 04:19h.

When sports betting goes live in Indiana in just over a month, the state’s sportsbooks will have a plethora of competitions they can offer to their customers.

Cole Tucker of the Indianapolis Indians prepares to round third base in a game earlier this season. The Indians, a Triple-A baseball club, could have their games available for betting under a list of approved sports and leagues the Indiana Gaming Commission released this week. (Image:

The standard fare – football (college and pro), basketball (college and pro), baseball (college and pro), ice hockey (college and pro), golf, boxing/mixed martial arts, soccer, and tennis – is on the approved list the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) released on Tuesday. But so too are bowling, cricket, lacrosse, rugby, sailing, softball, and track and field.

In all there are 19 different sports, including the Olympics, that will be available for sportsbooks. Sara Tait, the commission’s executive director, told that officials from the IGC looked at what the other US regulated markets offered as the basis for the state’s offerings.

One league listed is Triple-A baseball. Indiana is home to the Indianapolis Indians, who play at that level. Another Triple-A team, the Louisville Bats, play right across the Ohio River in Kentucky.

Earlier this year, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) officials expressed concern about making the league’s games game available for betting, given that the focus of their games is more developmental than competitive.

In addition, minor leaguers make a fraction of what their major league brethren make. It may not make for a scandal the likes of Pete Rose or the Black Sox, but it may cause MiLB to allocate resources to ensure games or plays within a game aren’t fixed.

MiLB officials did not return a request for comment for this article.

Available Betting Opportunities to be Fluid

Tait said the IGC did not have conversations with any sports leagues while developing its list.

The minor league baseball issue will likely be moot anyway this year. The absolute earliest a sportsbook can open in Indiana is Sept. 1, and the Triple-A baseball regular season ends the following day. Neither team the International League (IL) West Division, and the Indians are six games out of the IL’s wild card spot.

In addition, sportsbooks will have the discretion of whether or not they want to offer those contests to their customers.

As a regulator, it’s not really our decision,” she said. “We’re not making the business decisions of what wager types are going to be offered. That’ll be the call of the operators.

“We’re just saying these are the events and the leagues that we understand have already been vetted by other regulated markets.”

Tait said she does not expect the list to be concrete.

“It is our intention that this is going to be a living document, and that we’ll receive additional requests from operators. We will update that list as appropriate

William Hill Seeking Hoosier License

Another Indiana casino formally received preliminary approval for its license this week. Tait said the Tropicana Evansville received permission on Monday, meaning 13 casinos, racinos, and off-track betting parlors have taken the first step toward obtaining a sports betting license in the Hoosier State.

William Hill has applied for a license to run the sportsbook at the Tropicana, Tait said. The Tropicana is an Eldorado Resorts hotel, which has an established partnership with William Hill to run sportsbooks at its venues across the country. The company had listed job postings for the casino for about a month on the careers page of its website.

Of the eligible venues for a license, that leaves just the Majestic Star in Gary and the Rising Star in Rising Sun as casinos that have yet to apply. The Majestic Star, which holds two licenses, is currently working on a plan to move inland into Gary, a move that would free up a license for Vigo County. County residents are set to vote on allowing casino gaming in a November referendum that was allowed as part of an expanded gaming bill state lawmakers passed and Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed earlier this year.

Tait deferred questions regarding the Majestic Star and Rising Star casinos to their respective owners.