Indiana Becomes The Second State To Authorize Betting On The Oscars

Posted on January 22, 2020

Indiana continues to be at the forefront of sports betting innovation, despite only being operational for a few months. On Wednesday, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) announced it will let the state’s sportsbooks accept wagers on the Academy Awards.

Last year, New Jersey was the only state that authorized regulated Oscars betting. This year, Indiana will join the fray as well. DraftKings Sportsbook already has odds in all 24 Oscars categories available in New Jersey.

No word yet if Indiana online betting apps will offer action on every category. The IGC website only referenced “category winners”, not which categories in particular will be offered.

1917 current favorite to win Best Picture Oscar

If you’re unfamiliar with Oscars betting, the nominees in each category have a moneyline on the chances of winning the Oscar in that category. Here is a look at the DraftKings Best Picture odds as of Jan. 22:

  • 1917: -200
  • Parasite: +300
  • Once Upon a Time a Hollywood: +500
  • Joker: +1,200
  • The Irishman: +3,300
  • Marriage Story: +6,600
  • Jojo Rabbit: +8,000
  • Little Women: +10,000
  • Ford v Ferrari: +20,000

What do these odds mean? As the favorite, 1917 is -200, which means if you bet $20, you will win $30 for a $10 profit. Parasite, on the other hand, is +300. If you bet $10 on that film, you would win $40, for a $30 profit.

Don’t think you can make thousands of dollars betting on the Oscars though. Last year, New Jersey sportsbooks capped betting so wagers would not win more than a couple thousand dollars. This is not uncommon with niche markets and Super Bowl prop bets. Regulated, legal sportsbooks want to offer the fun of the wagering. However, given the potential for insider information, the potential for profit is limited.

FanDuel and DraftKings will offer Indiana Oscars betting

IGC Executive Director Sara Tait told the Northwest Times that Oscars got the all-clear. However, there is room for sportsbooks to take the bets off the board if needed.

“We conducted a review and determined that the request meets the requirements of statute and IGC standards and approved the requests. Should circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities, it is within the IGC’s discretion to change course based upon new information.”

In 2018, New Jersey ended up accepting around $1 million in betting on the film’s industry’s biggest awards. That is a small sum in the greater scheme of things.

However, the new bettors a niche market like Oscars betting can bring to Indiana sportsbooks is worth more than just the vig on those bets. Getting new users to sign up, especially in a nascent market like Indiana, is a big win for online sportsbooks.

Getting the word out about betting in general in tandem with Oscars betting could also potentially accelerate the acceptance and growth of online betting in the state. In December, online betting was responsible for 67% of all bets. In more developed markets like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, online betting comprises more than 80% of all bets.

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Jessica Welman

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