INDIANAPOLIS — Sunday morning Gov. Eric Holcomb placed the first bet at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino to officially kick off the state allowing sports betting of course betting on all Indiana sports teams.
Holcomb bet $10 on the Indianapolis Colts to win the Super Bowl, $10 on the Indiana Pacers to win the NBA Championship, and $10 on the Indiana Fever to win Sunday night’s game.
In the spring, lawmakers passed legislation that would allow sports betting in Indiana.
Just this past week they passed an emergency rule to allow people to start placing those bets on Sunday. Casinos here in Indiana have high hopes for what this new law could bring in terms of business.
“You’ll be able to bet on any basically professional, college sport you can think of and really give an opportunity for our folks to bet on things they have never been able too here in the state of Indiana,” says Kyle Waggoner with Indiana Grand Racing and Casino.
Holcomb’s bet on the Fever unfortunately did not pan out. The Fever lost to the Phoenix Mercury 105-78.
For legislators they say allowing sports betting was partially to better regulate something that had been happening under the table for a long time.
“Sports wagering is going on now that was a big discussion we had up in Indianapolis. It is happening now but it is happening in an unregulated, untaxed, and sometimes a dangerous gray market,” says Republican Rep. Sean Eberhart, District 57.
“I believe we have set up a framework to bring in some of that gray market to a regulated market and allow Hoosiers to know they can bet safely and with integrity,” says Republican Rep. Jon Ford, District 38.
Winner’s Circle in downtown Indianapolis has been offering sports betting off the books for over a decade. They say with horse racing losing its steam, when they finally drop the black tarp and open their sports book, it is going to have a huge impact on their business.
“I think that with sports betting you are going to see the clientele in this place really change over the next few months and and some fresh faces and those who have never seen our facility start to come on a more regular basis,” says Waggoner.
Just steps away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse and minutes away from Lucas Oil Stadium, Winner’s Circle is hoping to cash in on the fan experience.
“We are going to be right downtown obviously so we are going to be home to those that want to go to Pacers games that want to got Colts games, they can stop here before and place their bets then they can go to the game and come back and they can cash their tickets,” says Waggoner.
Winner’s Circle will have a soft opening for sports betting on Tuesday then their grand opening for the sports betting books will be on Thursday just in time for the kick of the NFL regular season.
Other casino’s around the state will be opening their books throughout the week ahead of the NFL regular season start.
WISH-TV’s Sierra Hignite contributed to this article
(PHOTO: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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