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STATEWIDE–Indiana is now the fourth-largest sports betting market in the nation, but the state will likely have competition soon. 

That competition is likely to come from neighboring states. 

“Illinois passed a bill just a month or so after Indiana did. They haven’t been able to come to market. We expect Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky will too,” says Matt Bell, chief executive officer of the Casino Association of Indiana. 

He tells Inside Indiana Business Illinois has a very expensive, government-centric regulatory and tax structure that’s prevented them from coming to market. 

“I think the legislation that passed is a credit to the General Assembly in Indiana. It was thoughtful. Legislators had looked at this subject for a couple of years and understood how they wanted to structure this so that investment could be successful and so we could attract that investment. Fortunately, from my perspective, lawmakers in Illinois did not learn those lessons,” Bell said. 

Bell also says many customers are crossing the border into Indiana to bet on their favorite teams. The next thing he sees happening is the growth of mobile sports betting. 

“There are partners who will come online in the coming months. Some of our operators have not opened their mobile sports platforms to date. I think as that becomes prevalent across the state and as folks become more comfortable with mobile technology, you’ll see that percentage grow even more,” Bell said. 

Bell says Indiana has an exceptional regulatory framework, but the state has to continue to be responsible with the way they present sports betting. 

Since sports betting became legal in Indiana September 1, over $430 million has been bet on sports from September 1 through December 31. 

(PHOTO: Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock)