IN’s Sports Betting Market Ready For Competition From Neighbors

Posted on April 26, 2022

Indiana’s neighbors have been making some progress towards legal sports betting. Ohio already has sports betting laws on the books, while Kentucky is a little further behind in the process.

The Hoosier State was once the only area in the Midwest where gamblers could bet on sports. That’s no longer the case with Indiana’s next-door neighbors entering the fold.

Regardless of the newcomers, Indiana sports betting is ready to stand up to the competition.

Ohio legalizes sports betting

Ohio is the latest one of Indiana’s neighbors to join the sports betting party.

The state legalized sports wagering late last year. Sportsbooks will be able to start taking bets on Jan. 1, 2023.

That time gap will give gambling companies in the state a chance to get things ready. After all, adding sportsbooks to casinos and preparing for online launches takes some time.

While things are still gearing up, Ohio is taking some time to finalize its sports betting rules. The state has been releasing those rules in batches to help get everything squared away for next year.

When things are finally up and running, Ohio’s market will be fairly similar to Indiana’s.

However, a key difference is that Ohio gamblers will be able to wager on esports. That type of betting is specifically forbidden by Indiana’s sports betting laws.

Kentucky sports betting bill fails

Kentucky is falling behind the rest of Indiana’s neighbors.

The Bluegrass State finally managed to slide a sports betting bill past the House this month. That alone took four long years of navigating some murky waters in Kentucky.

Despite passing its first real hurdle, the bill immediately died in the Senate.

Gov. Beshear is a supporter of Kentucky’s sports betting push, so he likely would have signed the bill if it had been able to make its way through the Senate.

Kentucky gamblers will have to wait another year until the state can take its fifth swing at legalization. In the meantime, those gamblers will continue traveling to nearby states like Indiana to place their bets.

Indiana holds off the competition

At this point, Indiana is one of the more mature sports betting markets in the Midwest. Hoosiers have been able to bet on sports since 2019, so the industry is well past the early growth cycle.

Illinois and Michigan have created sports betting markets of their own since Indiana’s launch. The Hoosier State has held its own despite huge amounts of competition coming from those states.

Illinois could have been particularly troublesome for Indiana since its market no longer receives traveling gamblers coming over from Chicago.

However, even without visiting gamblers from those nearby states, Indiana’s market continues to grow. Indiana racked up numerous betting records during the last NFL season, and gamblers in the state even wagered over $476 million on sports just last month.

All of this means that Indiana’s gambling industry is strong enough to stand on its own. Hoosiers love to bet on sports, and that love isn’t going anywhere in the future.

That will keep business booming even when Ohio, and eventually Kentucky, bring new competition next door. Sports betting is the new normal for gambling states in the US, and Indiana’s market is set up to succeed for the long term.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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