Bally’s To Launch Social Casino As Indiana Online Casino Debate Looms

Posted on June 15, 2024

Indiana sportsbook operator Bally’s recently launched a social casino at a time when states like Indiana are considering legalizing online casinos.

While lawmakers have yet to approve iGaming in the Hoosier State, residents can legally play games online through sweepstakes and social casinos.

Bally Play could be the company’s attempt to create a customer base if iGaming becomes legal in some of the 40-plus states that don’t currently allow it.

Indianans can play top-level slots at social casinos

Lawmakers agreed to postpone discussion on any new gambling legislation during the 2024 legislative session. With brick-and-mortar casinos and a thriving Indiana sports betting industry,  Indiana online casinos seem to be the next logical step.

While regulated online casinos aren’t an option yet, residents can win cash prizes on Indiana sweepstakes casinos. However, Bally Play will be a free-to-play app without any mention of cash redemption.

Bally Play is a social casino that will be available across North America as a result of a partnership between Bally’s and Ruby Seven Studios.

Bally Play users will have access to more than 150 different casino games. Titles include favorites such as Wheel of Fortune, Sweet Spin, Rakin’ Bacon, Double DaVinci Diamonds and more, said Bally’s Corporation Chief Product Officer Sina Miri in a release.

“As part of our growing strategy, we have been seeking to complement our brick-and-mortar and interactive gaming offerings with a social casino. Working with Ruby Seven Studios has allowed us to create a unique, best-in-class social casino experience for our existing players and can help us attract new players.”

There’s no monetary risk to play at social casinos. For Bally’s, it’s a way to break into the online casino market as more states legalize iGaming. For Indiana players, it’s a chance to play top-level online slots in anticipation of lawmakers legalizing online casinos for real money next year.

A closer look at Bally’s Indiana presence

Bally’s owns just one retail casino in Indiana, Bally’s Evansville Casino & Hotel.

The complex resides in a former riverboat gaming location that was turned into a land-based casino property.

The casino sports 1,000 slots and 30 table games across its 45,000 square feet of gaming floor. Highlights include 14 blackjack tables, three roulette tables and two tables for craps.

The property also operates Bally’s Sports Bar and Grill, which offers a number of sports betting windows and wagering kiosks.

Online casinos now legal in 7 states

According to the American Gaming Assocation, the country’s online casino market grew 22.9% from 2022 to 2023 and produced $6.17 billion in revenue.

Online casinos are legal in seven states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia

Indiana could be on the verge of becoming the eighth.

There’s a clear appetite for casino gaming in the state. Indiana boasts 13 brick-and-mortar casinos. When the AGA ranked its top commercial casino markets in 2023, it lumped Indiana and Illinois together to form a “Chicagoland” market, which ranked third in the nation in revenue.

Adding iGaming into the mix would certainly provide a boost to Indiana’s gaming industry as a whole. Spectrum Gaming Group released a study claiming online casinos could generate $880 million annually in Indiana.

Some of Indiana’s retail casino operators have voiced their support for iGaming in other markets.

Unfortunately, scandals involving Indiana lawmakers and gaming companies have silenced any talks about legalizing iGaming for now.

Don’t be surprised to see the debate heat up in 2025. If Indiana does decide to legalize online casinos, Bally’s could be perfectly positioned to compete immediately.

Photo by PlayIndiana
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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