BetMGM is finally coming online throughout Indiana.
The Indiana Gaming Commission signed off on the sportsbook’s launch this morning. That means BetMGM will be opening its digital doors tomorrow, Feb. 25.
Last month the IGC approved BetMGM, BetIndiana, and PointsBet to become new licensees.
So far, BetMGM Indiana is the only one of the three that’s been able to find its way to market.
BetMGM partnering with Belterra Casino
Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana is BetMGM’s land-based partner.
With the casino’s proximity to both Ohio and Kentucky, it’ll certainly be hoping to draw in business from those neighboring states.
Things have stalled in Ohio as the state’s legislature struggles to narrow down its potential path to legalization. Kentucky seemed like it was on the brink of legalization, but is now facing its own group of setbacks.
Until those neighboring states have sorted out legalized sports betting for themselves, casinos close to the state lines, such as Belterra, will continue to profit from the out of state visitors from those areas.
Belterra is less than an hour away from both Louisville and Cincinnati, putting it in range for residents from those cities.
However, bettors won’t have to visit the casino in person if they don’t want to.
Anyone could simply cross the state line into Indiana and place their BetMGM wagers from their phones. That online traffic, from both Hoosiers and out of state gamblers, will be an important part of BetMGM’s handle.
Belterra hoping for boost from online bets
BetMGM will be the fifth online sportsbook in the Hoosier State, joining DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and BetAmerica.
So far, Belterra has struggled to take in as many wagers as its competitors.
Throughout January, the casino barely racked up $930,000 for its handle, which was the second-lowest amount in the state behind Rising Star Casino and its $300,000 haul.
The top dogs in Indiana dwarfed those numbers. Ameristar Casino’s handle was over $70 million in January, with second-place Blue Chip Casino breaking the $50 million mark.
Granted, both of those casinos receive massive boosts from their online partners, DraftKings and FanDuel. Those online partners account for the vast majority of the money coming in.
Belterra is hoping that BetMGM can give them a similar kind of boost. Although that will probably be easier said than done considering the high level of competition.
BetMGM is entering an uphill battle in Indiana
The sportsbook market in Indiana is getting more and more crowded. That has made it increasingly difficult for new sportsbooks to carve out a chunk of the state’s handle.
BetAmerica was the most recent sportsbook to launch in Indiana, but the newcomer has struggled since joining the party.
Last month, BetAmerica only brought in a disappointing $89,000, which was by far the smallest amount by any online sportsbook in the state.
With BetMGM entering the fray later in the game, it could be bumping elbows with its competitors for some time. Just like BetAmerica, BetMGM may find itself having a tough start out of the gates because of all of that competition.
However, a later start isn’t the only factor. BetRivers has struggled compared to DraftKings and FanDuel, and it’s been open for business since the beginning.
Brand recognition and the accessibility of its app are some of the things holding the operator back, but BetRivers’ situation does help show that it’s not only about getting your foot in the door first.
BetMGM will have to deal with similar issues such as spreading awareness of its brand. However, it won’t have that early access advantage that BetRivers enjoyed.
With so many factors to deal with after launch, BetMGM will have to navigate those waters if it wants to differentiate itself from the competition.