CHICAGO — Legal sports wagering began in Indiana on the afternoon of the 1st September this year.
Ameristar Casino in East Chicago opens to sports wagering
The first legal sports wagering bet was placed at the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago on a sporting event at a Northwest Indiana casino. Subsequently, its first player bet $50 on the Chicago Bears, betting that the Bears will win their conference championship. He also placed another $50 bet that the Bears would win the Super Bowl. Some 49 other people lined up for the soft opening. The grand opening took place on the 5th September.
Ameristar Casino has a remodeled pavilion that placed five sports betting windows and several freestanding wagering kiosks alongside its Stadium sports bar and a burger restaurant. This strategic placement invites almost every person entering and leaving the casino to pass by the sports book.
On Sunday, some 50 people were in line to bet prior to the “soft opening” for sports betting at Ameristar. Ameristar’s General Manager Matt Schuffert (of Hobart) expressed excitement, saying that Ameristar was “very fortunate to be one of the first ones in Chicagoland to be able to offer this”. For Shuffert, sports betting posed no real competition to the slot machines and table games at Ameristar.
Other casinos celebrate Grand Openings for Sports wagering
Horseshoe Casino in Hammond also celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday 4th September and the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City opened on the Thursday, 5th September, the same day that Ameristar Casino had its grand opening.
The Indiana Grand casino in Shelbyville also opened and received Gov. Eric Holcomb at their grand opening. The ‘House Enrolled Act 1015’ was signed into law by Governor Halcomb. Subsequently, the Governor was the first person to place a sports bet in the state. He placed $10 bets each on the Super Bowl, the NBA championship, and on the WNBA Sunday’s game. He reminded the public to play in moderation and to “never bet more than you can afford to lose.”
For the time being, the Majestic Star casinos in Gary do not plan to open a sports book.
Excited Players look forward to wagering on sports
Players such as Shaun Goeddeke (of Lyons, Illinois), are excited at the range of other facilities present at Ameristar. Besides sports wagering there are many more. He is pretty much looking forward to gambling daily in Indiana on legal sports betting.
Legalization of sports wagering or betting in Indiana and Illinois
Indiana is the 13th state to fully legalize betting on sports after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law restricting the practice in 2018.
Lawmakers in Illinois lalso voted this year to legalize sports wagering. But it likely still will be several more months before the Illinois Gaming Board approves the rules necessary for Illinois casinos to begin accepting sports bets.
Indiana’s 13 casinos were authorized by the Indiana Gaming Commission to accept wagers on up to 19 different professional and Division I college sports. These all range from baseball, football and basketball to cricket, darts and sailing as well as International sports leagues and the winter/summer Olympic Games.
Hoosiers will also be able to place sports bets from their mobile devices. Most of Indiana’s casinos are expected to partner with online sports wagering companies.
How to wager at sports – place your bets!
To place a sports bet, patrons place their wager either at a walk-up window or by using an electronic kiosk. Players receive a ticket listing the bet. The ticket is then turned in to receive a payout if the player has won the bet. Wagering at sports is pretty similar to betting on a horse race at the track or an off-track betting facility.
State Regulations and controls for sports wagering
State regulations require legalized casinos to display sporting events that are available for wagering, along with the corresponding odds. Bets can be placed using cash, credit or debit. Patron accounts must be verified and is required for credit, debit and mobile wagers.
Patrons are naturally entitled to a refund of their bets if any sporting event is cancelled for any reason.
Casinos and mobile sports wagering operators are required to report unusual wagering activity. Indiana sports wagering operators are regulated by an independent integrity monitoring provider. If a sporting event is fixed or manipulated, or anyone believes that it has “good cause” as to why the event shouldn’t be the subject of wagers, it can request the Indiana Gaming Commission to intervene.