The Countdown to Indiana Sports Betting Is On; Is Your Favorite Sportsbook On The Way?

Posted on August 12, 2019 - Last Updated on October 10, 2019

The wait to find out which brands will be live when Indiana sports betting launches is over. A new Penn National Gaming deal cements market shares for several big-name players.

The announcement of the deal also signals that online sports betting in Indiana could come as soon as next month.

The details of the Penn National deal for Indiana

Residents and visitors to the Hoosier State will be able to legally wager on sporting events as early as next month. What Indiana sportsbooks they will do that through is now a lot more clear.

Penn National Gaming, which operates the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, made a market-access and sportsbook operation deal with five companies.

Those companies are:

  • DraftKings
  • Kambi
  • PointsBet
  • theScore
  • The Stars Group

For Indiana, the parts of the deal that involve Kambi, theScore and the Stars Group are relevant.

Kambi may be the biggest winner in the deal. It will provide infrastructure, including software, for Penn National sportsbooks in all of the relevant markets, including Indiana.

The other four companies now have deals to operate those land-based and online sportsbooks in regions where Penn operates casinos. Although the agreement includes DraftKings, the relevant players for Indiana are PointsBet, theScore and the Stars Group.

Who has priority for Penn online skins

The Stars Group gets first priority for Penn’s online skins as part of the deal. That likely means its new FoxBet sports betting app will be coming to Indiana.

That priority cost the Stars Group a $12.5 million fee along with agreeing to share its sportsbook revenue in the state with Penn. Combined with an already-existing deal with Eldorado Resorts, the Stars Group is poised to become the dominant sports betting provider in Indiana.

That doesn’t mean it will be the only operator in the state with Penn’s blessing, however. PointsBet and theScore also get in on the Hoosier State in the deal.

PointsBet ponied up a 5.28% equity share plus agreed to split its Indiana sportsbook revenue with Penn. theScore gave up 4.7% in equity and also agreed to a revenue share.

In exchange for that, both of those companies get secondary access to a Penn online skin. All those sportsbooks will use Kambi systems to operate.

Kambi also provides a hint as to how soon this could all be a reality.

Launch of land-based sportsbooks is coming fast

Kambi said in a news release that it expects its first physical sportsbooks in Indiana to open in the third quarter of this year. Looking at the calendar that means next month would be a soft deadline.

The release further suggests online betting could launch early next year. That information is consistent with the Indiana Gaming Commission’s launch date of Sept. 1.

It also means the land-based book operated by Penn will be accepting wagers at the beginning of the coming Indianapolis Colts season. There’s no bigger cash cow for sportsbooks than the NFL, so this is a big win for all stakeholders.

The fact that DraftKings wasn’t involved in Penn’s Indiana deal doesn’t mean it won’t eventually be available to Indiana bettors. DraftKings isn’t tied down to Penn in the agreement and is free to partner with other Indiana casinos.

When Indiana sportsbooks go live in the coming weeks, these companies will start to get a better idea of the demand for sports betting in the Hoosier State. Because of this deal, people in Indiana now have a better idea of the options available to them.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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