Sports Book Wagering Launches Sunday In Indiana

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first_imgBy Brandon BargerTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—As early as Sunday, Hoosiers will be allowed to legally place a bet on their favorite professional or college game at one of five sites within the state.The Indiana Gaming Commission Wednesday unanimously approved emergency rules that will allow three casinos to offer sports betting on Sept. 1 with two others to follow within the week.Sara Gonso Tait, executive director of the commission, told members that her staff has been working hard since to develop the emergency rules that will allow Indiana to join the ranks of states allowing sports wagering.“In order to capture the black market,” Tait said, “we have to have a competitive regulatory market.”The rules will be in place for 90 days with an option to extend them for another 90 days to give the commission enough time to finalize them.Hoosiers can place bets on Sunday at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, Ameristar Casino Hotel in East Chicago, and the Hollywood Casino & Hotel in Lawrenceburg. The Horseshoe Hammond will take sports bets on Sept. 4 while the French Lick Resort and Casino will start up its operations on Sept. 6.In April, the Indiana General Assembly approved sweeping changes to the state’s gambling laws. In addition to sports betting, lawmakers passed a law allowing the move of two Gary casinos from Buffington Harbor to an inland site near Interstate 90 and a separate, new casino in Vigo County.Specific plans are subject to the approval of the Gaming Commission and on Wednesday, members voted unanimously to OK Spectacle Entertainment’s proposal for a 225,000-square-foot Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Gary. It will replace two waterfront Majestic Star riverboat casinos.John Keeler, a former Republican lawmaker from Indianapolis and representative of Spectacle, and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told members of the commission that the project will be done in two stages. The first will include the construction of the casino with a 2,000 seat entertainment venue as well as parking. The second stage will include building a 200-room hotel that will be connected to the casino as well as a parking structure.Keeler told the commission that the proposal meets requirements that the $300 million casinos will create 1,600 jobs during phase one with an additional 200 jobs being added with phase two. They are hoping that phase one will be completed by Dec. 31, 2020, which Keeler called a “very ambitious date, but with a little bit of luck and some good weather, we think we can make that.”Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told the members that the casino move frees up Buffington Harbor for development.“We believe that the highest and best use of that area is to be the development of a multimodal transportation system that really capitalizes on our rail and our highways that run through and adjacent to the area,” she said.Commission member Joseph Svetanoff, from northwest Indiana, voiced his support for the project.“I am extremely excited about what the future holds for this project,” Svetanoff told his fellow commissioners.Tait said the commission is now accepting proposals for the new Vigo County casino until Dec. 1 and will enlist Indiana University to help them review their potential impact on the community. Vigo County voters will be asked to approve the casino in the November election.The commission will next meet on Nov. 8 at the site of the Horseshoe Southern casino.FOOTNOTE: Brandon Barger is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Tropicana-Evansville Not Approved To Start Sportsbook At This Timelast_img

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