Indiana’s time as a sports betting oasis is finally over. All of its neighboring states have now legalized sports betting.
Sports betting in Indiana became legal in 2019. It took nearly four years for all of its neighbors to catch up.
Kentucky was the final holdout, and the Bluegrass State narrowly managed to sign its sports betting bill into law last week.
Indiana was one of the first sports betting states
Indiana has always been a national leader in gambling expansion.
In the 1990s, the state was eager to add casinos while other states sat on their hands. Some states still don’t have casinos of their own even today.
Indiana was ahead of the sports betting curve as well. It was one of the first states in the country to legalize betting and get its industry up and running.
At the time, it was the only state in the area that offered legal betting. If you lived in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio or Kentucky, driving to Indiana was the only option to place legal bets.
The Hoosier State had a head start, but its neighbors have slowly started to chip away at that advantage.
Michigan and Illinois joined the sports betting party years ago, but Ohio and Kentucky were slower to hop aboard. Ohio sportsbooks took their first bets on New Year’s Day. The final domino is about to fall now that Kentucky lawmakers have legalized sports betting.
Midwest sports betting monopoly ends
New states legalizing sports betting is exciting for those residents, but it hurts Indiana’s industry. The Hoosier State got to reap the benefits before its neighbors caught up.
Online sports betting made the process easy. All it took was a quick drive over the border into Indiana, and residents of other states could place bets using their smartphones.
It’s a practice that was incredibly common in the early days of Indiana sports betting, especially near major cities such as Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati.
However, Indiana’s Midwest monopoly is over now. There’s no longer any reason for residents of these states to come to Indiana to bet. Why drive to a different state when you can place bets from your couch at home?
Indiana still has some time to enjoy the boost to its revenue numbers from Kentucky residents. Sports betting is legal there as of March 31, but it will take some time for the state to officially launch its new industry.
Indiana sports betting was already expected to decline this year, and Kentucky’s launch will only add salt to the wound.
At the very least, the changes haven’t been unexpected for Indiana. As they say, all good things must come to an end. Hoosiers love betting on sports, so even with more competition coming from next door, sports betting isn’t going anywhere in Indiana.