Indiana gambling will have a huge new competitor next door soon. The start of Ohio sports betting next month could put a dent in Indiana’s industry.
Originally, sports betting in Indiana was the only legal option in the Midwest. Since then, the rest of the state’s neighbors have caught up.
Gamblers in Ohio can start betting on sports on Jan. 1, 2023. When that launch date arrives, Indiana will lose the money from traveling gamblers that have been visiting the state over the past few years.
Ohio sports betting chips away at Indiana
When the Hoosier State originally opened up its sports betting industry back in 2019, it was the only state in the area with legal betting. In fact, it was one of the first states in the entire country to embrace sports betting.
However, times have changed. Betting on sports has become more of a norm than a rarity over the past few years.
Indiana’s Midwest monopoly led to all sorts of gamblers from neighboring states driving over the border to place their bets.
It’s been a simple process for those living near the state line. Just drive across the border, pull over into the nearest parking lot and place your bets from your phone.
The same goes for betting at one of Indiana’s strategically-placed casinos, which there are plenty of near the borders of Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio. Any gambler from a nearby state can stop in at a casino’s sportsbook to place their bets in person.
All of those visiting gamblers have helped bolster Indiana’s betting numbers over the past few years.
Michigan and Illinois have had their own sports betting industries for a while now. With Ohio finally joining the online gambling party, Kentucky will be Indiana’s lone neighbor where residents can’t bet on sports.
End of golden era for Hollywood Lawrenceburg?
One business that Ohio sports betting could really impact is the sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg.
The Indiana casino is about a half hour drive away from Cincinnati, so it hugely benefits from visiting gamblers traveling over from the city.
Those travelers had made Hollywood’s Las Vegas-style sportsbook a powerhouse in the retail world.
The Barstool Sportsbook at the casino is one of the most popular sportsbooks in the entire US outside of Nevada. It took in nearly $12 million worth of bets just during the month of October.
Hollywood is essentially in the bottom right corner of Indiana. In other words, it’s jammed right in between both Ohio and Kentucky.
Although Kentucky gamblers are still stuck in the mud, Ohio sports bettors will have closer options nearby soon.
Cincinnati has its own batch of casinos on the Ohio side of the border, and each of those locations plan to open retail sportsbooks of their own. Those nearby options will be more convenient for Ohio gamblers than driving across the border into Indiana.
That could prove to be quite a hit to Hollywood’s in-person sportsbook business. Some gamblers might stick around with what’s familiar, but many are likely to pick options closer to home when the time comes.
Jan. 1 could mark the beginning of the end for Hollywood’s golden era of retail betting. Its spot amongst the most successful sportsbooks in the country could be in jeopardy once Ohio sports betting begins next month.
Indiana sports betting holding its own
Indiana’s sports betting industry will lose out on some business when betting begins in Ohio.
However, this isn’t the first time that Indiana has been in this situation.
Indiana has developed a massive legal gambling industry that can stand on its own, regardless of losing some gamblers from nearby states.
Gamblers in Indiana bet over $446 million on sports during October, according to the latest report. That’s with sports fans from Illinois and Michigan mostly staying in their home states.
The fact is, Hoosiers love to bet on sports, and that love isn’t going anywhere.
Ohio sports betting will take a chip out of Indiana’s industry, but the damage will be much more of a scratch than a fatal wound. Local spots like Hollywood Lawrenceburg might take more of a hit, but the industry as a whole will remain strong for years to come.