Indiana remains a strong market for sports betting in retail and digital platforms. That doesn’t stop at the Olympics, either.
However, there is one exception. The first Olympic Esports Series qualification events began on March 1, with the finals beginning on June 22. Unfortunately for Hoosiers, these events are not a part of Indiana sports betting.
Esports betting is illegal in Indiana
With nine new Olympic events added to an entirely new Olympic category, it seems logical this would create new ways to bet on the Olympics. But it is not that simple in Indiana.
When Indiana legalized sports betting, the state’s law had specific language excluding betting on video games.
In other words, Indiana sportsbooks are unable to offer any of these new events in the Olympic Esports Series, even though events put on by the International Olympic Committee are typically available for betting.
While seemingly illogical, there is no way around this situation unless Indiana lawmakers amend sports betting law. So, while are nine new events to enjoy for those who carve out time to watch the Olympics, there is, unfortunately, no betting of any kind in Indiana on these new events.
Despite that, Hoosiers can still enjoy watching the events.
The Olympics and their new section of Esports events
According to the Olympics website, the Olympic Esports Series “is a global virtual and simulated sports competition, created by the International Olympic Committee, and in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and game publishers.”
That essentially means it is a collection of virtual events accepted by the IOC as Olympic competitions.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Sport Singapore in partnership with the Singapore National Olympic Committee are running the inaugural Olympic Esports Week.
Nine sports are classified as part of the 2023 Olympic Esports Series:
- Archery via Tic Tac Bow
- Baseball via World Baseball Softball Confederations’ eBASEBALL POWER PROS
- Chess via Chess.com
- Cycling via Zwift
- Dance via Just Dance
- Motorsport via Grand Turismo
- Sailing via Virtual Regatta
- Tennis via Tennis Clash
- Taekwondo via Virtual Taekwondo
Different ways to qualify for Olympic Esports events
Six of the nine games have open entry and qualification rounds for anyone to participate in to try and qualify for the Olympic Esports Finals in June.
Virtual Taekwondo is finding qualified competitors by hosting an invitational event. The plan is to select the 16 “best and upcoming taekwondo athletes of the present and future” to compete at the finals in Singapore.
Dance is simply an invitation event without many details about how many people will compete to go to the finals or what the general setup of the invitational event is.
Lastly, cycling will select 16 total competitors split evenly between men and women. To select those 16 finalists, there will be an invitational event called the Zwift Grand Prix cycling series, as well as the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.
Between those two events, a select eight men and eight women will participate in an, “exhilarating new event format and a unique approach to mixed gender racing at the live finals in Singapore,” as stated on the Olympic website.
People looking to join the Olympic Esports Series can participate in multiple events if they qualify for more than one.
Those who qualify will travel to Singapore for the Olympic Esports Finals 2023 at Singapore’s Suntec Centre from June 22 to June 25.