Kindred is about to move into a third US state after being none this past summer. A market access deal for Unibet sportsbook adds Indiana to the company’s list.
Caesars Entertainment is using one of its skins to bring Kindred’s international sports betting brand to the Hoosier State. This doesn’t mean the Unibet brand will replace Caesars in the state, however.
Unibet sportsbook using Horseshoe Hammond betting license
Indiana law allows master license holders to partner with multiple sportsbook brands. As Caesars operates several properties in the Hoosier State, it has plenty of extra licenses to go around. Unibet will utilize the sports betting license of Horseshoe Hammond Casino.
Caesars operates its own sportsbook, so the retail books in Indiana will continue to bear that brand. For Kindred, who owns Unibet, this is about getting into the state’s online market.
Kindred already operates Unibet online sportsbooks in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Through this deal with Caesars, it not only expands into Indiana but Iowa as well.
It’s a great time for online sportsbooks to enter the Hoosier State. The market for that product appears to be maturing.
Indiana online betting volume on the rise
For the first few months of online wagering in Indiana, there were only three operators. That number recently grew exponentially.
Accordingly, the percentage of handle from online sources has grown as well. In Jan. 2020, Indiana residents and visitors placed 72% of their bets online.
That 8% uptick from December 2019 is a great sign for the state’s market. The percentage of online handle actually declined in December compared to November of last year.
The online share for the current month may prove to be even larger because of Super Bowl LIV. While Unibet missed out on that game, there’s another event upcoming that Kindred can take advantage of.
Indiana sportsbooks racing to launch before March Madness
Every year, March contains two of the best events for marketing sportsbooks of the year. Those are the men’s and women’s NCAA D1 basketball championship tournaments.
With about a month to go before the first games of those tournaments, that might be enough time for Unibet to get ready. Indiana’s regulations aren’t that different from New Jersey’s or Pennsylvania’s, so there isn’t much tweaking necessary for Unibet.
There is no target date for when Unibet will go live in Indiana yet. It would be a tremendous lost opportunity if the sportsbook isn’t live in time for March Madness, however.
Unibet is one of several brands trying to get to market before the tournament. BetIndiana, PointsBet, and BetMGM already have conditional license approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission but have not launched. Unibet will need to get that approval before it can move forward.
March Madness marketing for sportsbook launches is usually very aggressive. The biggest winners in that situation are bettors.
Caesars’ foothold in Indiana is one reason that Kindred chose the brand for this partnership according to the Senior Vice President of Kindred US Manuel Stan. He said that Caesars’ geographical spread affords Kindred a unique opportunity.
Unibet may be late to the game but the market seems to have enough room for all these operators. If the sportsbook goes live in time for March Madness, it could get off to a good start in Indiana.