Make Way For BetMGM & BetIndiana

Two more operators have been teed up for Indiana sports betting, with both BetMGM and Betindiana being handed temporary vendor licenses by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).

That puts them on track to launch sooner rather than later, although this weekend’s Super Bowl is likely to come too soon for them to cash in on what is the biggest single day for sports wagering in the country.

DraftKings, one of four sportsbook operators in the state currently (along with BetRivers, FanDuel and BetAmerica) got IGC approval in late August and started taking bets in early October – the quickest timeline for any online/mobile sportsbook so far.

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BetMGM working with the Belterra

BetMGM, previously PlayMGM, is a product of Roar Digital, a 50-50 collaboration between MGM Resorts and London-listed sportsbook operator GVC Holdings.

Roar, which launched its BetMGM sports betting app in early September in New Jersey, has market access in Indiana thanks to a deal struck in July 2018 with Boyd Gaming.

The latter company operates the Belterra Casino in Florence, Ind., which provides the license for the new venture and is roughly an hour’s drive from the Cincinnati and Louisville metro areas.

Under Indiana state law, authorized casinos are permitted to partner with up to three sports betting operators, known as ‘skins’ in the industry. The Belterra can already count on one skin in FanDuel.

BetIndiana partnered with the Majestic Star

BetIndiana is an independent sportsbook from USA Sports Gaming LLC, which in October of last year announced a partnership with Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment.

The latter company owns the Majestic Star casino in Gary, Ind., which provides the license for the BetIndiana app.

Majestic Star casino, Indiana

The Majestic Star casino is providing the license for BetIndiana

The app will be powered by Sportradar, one of the world’s leading provider of sports data and content, in conjunction with the Amelco platform.

This is the perfect partnership for us, said Frank Ignatius, founder and president of USA Sports Gaming in an October statement. Like BetIndiana, Spectacle Entertainment is an independent operator in the gaming industry, born in the Midwest and connected to our local markets. We see great synergy here and we’re confident we will provide bettors in Indiana with a book unlike any other in the state.

On news of the temporary license being issued, Ignatius tweeted:

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New additions hoping to grab lucrative market share

The big question is whether the two new brands will grab a significant share of the state’s nascent sports betting market.

They will take encouragement from the latest figures released by the IGC, which show that Hoosiers bet a record $161.8 million last month, up from November’s handle figure of $147.3 million.

Significantly, mobile betting accounted for around $110 million of December’s figure, which is almost 70% of the total action.

Operators profits last month amounted to $12 million, up almost a third from November’s win of $9.3 million, and that yielded some $1.1 million in taxes for the state.

Clearly an operator-friendly tax rate of 9.5% on gross gaming revenue is allowing the state’s sports betting industry to flourish.

DraftKings making most of head start

The two latest additions will bring the total number of Indiana online/mobile sportsbooks to six and that can only help handle and revenue grow further.

DraftKings‘ position as clear market leader is unlikely to come under threat any time soon, however.

Since making its state debut on Oct. 3, it has handled $170.2 million in bets though its online/mobile sportsbook, which represents 39% of Indiana’s 2019 total handle figure.

FanDuel, which launched on Oct. 25, took second spot with $62.1 million in online bets last year for 14.2% of the state’s total.

Between them, they accounted for more than $100 million, or 63.4%, of December’s total handle figure.

Good news for Hoosier bettors

That there will soon be as many as six online options is of course great news for Hoosier bettors, who can look forward to more competitive lines, odds boosts and generous promotions, like deposit bonuses; all things that typically come about as a result of increased competition amongst operators.

More good news was provided by the IGC’s decision to allow approved operators to accept seven additional prop bets for Super Bowl Sunday, including the color of the Gatorade shower and coin toss outcome.

Such wacky props were once the preserve of illegal offshore books, earning them significant publicity, so that Hoosiers can now bet on them legally is a measure of just how far the Indiana sports betting industry has come in such a short space of time.

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