The 2020 NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis, running from Feb. 23 until March 2.
Even though the NFL Draft isn’t until late April, prospective draftees have a chance to improve their draft stock by impressing the league’s scouts.
Although it varies by position, college prospects will take part in a slew of events including the 40-yard dash, the bench press test, and various other drills.
Football is the most popular sport for betting in the country, so it’s no surprise that gamblers are interested in betting on the combine itself.
Despite the event’s popularity, you can’t legally bet on the combine in Indiana. Other states have found themselves in the same situation.
New Jersey almost offered combine betting
Originally, sportsbooks in the Garden State had regulatory approval to offer bets on last year’s NFL Combine.
However, that approval didn’t last for long. The state revoked betting on the event just a few days after giving it the green light.
So what exactly happened?
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement caught bettors off guard by forcing sportsbooks like PointsBet and DraftKings to void bets on the combine. Those sportsbooks issued refunds to those bettors.
At the time, the state had concerns about integrity issues that might arise from betting on the event.
It seems like Indiana has found itself in that same spot. The Indiana Gaming Commission didn’t even consider offering betting on this year’s NFL Combine.
According to Sara Gonso Tait, the executive director of the IGC, that’s because there are not any existing rules to guarantee the integrity of the event.
“The IGC has not been provided with integrity policies applicable to the participants at the NFL Combine. As such, event wagering is not eligible for approval.”
Without the NFL developing and sending out those kinds of policies, betting on the combine in Indiana will continue to be a no-go.
Indiana has allowed betting on other non-sporting events
Even though Hoosiers can’t bet on the combine, there’s hope that the IGC will be open to approving it in the future.
A sign for combine-hopefuls is that Indiana has allowed betting on other events in the past.
For example, the IGC approved betting on the Academy Awards this year. Since Indiana was only the second state to approve Oscars betting, that put it ahead of the pack.
It also shows that Indiana is willing to try new things. The IGC is willing to take the state in a fresh direction if the circumstances are right. That flexibility from the IGC has helped lead to Indiana’s bountiful start since sports betting started in the state.
The state also approved betting on this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend. Although it’s another case of the IGC opening up new things for bettors, it also served as an example of how the circumstances have to be right. The IGC approved betting for almost all of the weekend’s events.
However, the dunk contest, one of the more popular events, wasn’t an option for Indiana bettors. That’s because the NBA, much like the NFL in the case of the combine, hadn’t created any rules to govern it.
Celebrity judges determined the outcome. That combined with the lack of integrity rules surrounding the contest took it off the board for Indiana gamblers.
Both Oscars betting and NBA All-Star Weekend show that the IGC is willing to try new things. If the NFL creates policies surrounding the combine, the IGC would likely allow Hoosiers to bet on it in the future.