Four Reasons Why Indiana Sports Betting Is Primed For Explosive Growth In 2020

Posted on December 4, 2019 - Last Updated on December 10, 2019

Indiana sports betting is still in its early days, yet signs of growth are already appearing. In October alone, we saw $90 million in wagers in the Hoosier state.

But sportsbooks in Indiana are only going to get bigger as time goes on. Here’s a look at some of the reasons.

Indiana sports betting, not far from Chicago

The biggest boon to Indiana sports betting is that there is not yet a legal option in Illinois, and therefore no option in Chicago, either.

Illinois, of course, passed a law to legalize sports gambling earlier this year, but it’s not yet clear when it will launch. Initial steps toward legal betting are underway, however.

Until then, people in Chicago can turn to Indiana, and it appears they are doing so in droves. Casinos in the Chicago suburbs are seeing a lot of foot traffic. And Chicagoans must only cross the border in order to place wagers on Indiana sports betting apps.

And even when Illinois sports betting goes live, you’ll have to register in person at an Illinois casino. So, if you want to bet at the likes of DraftKings or FanDuel sportsbooks, you’ll still have to do so in Indiana, and won’t have access in Illinois for the time being.

Other states are dawdling on sports betting, too

Right now, the map around Indiana is promising for the state’s sports betting revenue hopes.

Other than Illinois, sports betting is not yet legal in any of the surrounding states:

  • Michigan has been trying to legalize sports betting for more than a year; it’s possible the legislature will get something done in the near future, but not a given.
  • Ohio has recently seen legislative hearings and action, but a law in 2020 is an “if” for now.
  • Kentucky has also looked at sports betting, but it faces an uncertain future in the immediate term.

In any event, the longer Indiana enjoys the relative monopoly of sports betting in the region, the better it will be for the state and its sportsbook operators.

Lots of sportsbook brands competing

Eventually, there will be many different brands competing in the Indiana sports betting marketplace.

  • DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers are all live now.
  • Caesars, which has a large land-based footprint in the state, will have online betting eventually.
  • Other brands on the way include PointsBet, William Hill, Hollywood Casino, BetAmerica and BetIndiana.

That kind of competition — and the marketing that comes with it — should help the market to grow quickly.

Cost of doing business is relatively low

Getting into the sports betting business in Indiana is business-friendly.

The initial licensing fee is just $100,000, which pales to the millions such a license might cost in other states. The tax rate of just under 10% is also conducive to sports betting operators investing in the Indiana market heavily. The fee and tax should help the growth of the industry.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.

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