- Northwest Indiana sportsbooks will be open in time for the NFL season opener.
- Residents of Illinois can travel to Indiana if they would like to place wagers on the Chicago Bears games.
- Currently, there is no date as to when Illinois will open its sports betting lounges, despite it being legal in the state.
CHICAGO – Just a hop, skip, and jump away from the Chicago area is the state of Indiana. While the state of Illinois is progressing slowly to bring sports betting to their residents, northwest Indiana will begin offering legalized sports wagering beginning on September 1st. The area is less than 30 miles from those living in Chicago.
On Wednesday, two sports betting lounges in the northwest Indiana area were given the go-ahead with regulations being set in place. The first casino in the area to open up their sportsbook will be the Ameristar Casino East Chicago on Sunday, September 1. Just three days later, the Horseshoe Hammond will begin taking wagers, the day before the beginning of the NFL season.
Indiana legalized sports betting in May when Governor Eric Holcomb signed IN HB 1015 into law. The state knew that they wanted to have all rules and regulations in place to be able to start taking wagers at the start of the NFL season.
“We knew this was something the legislature wanted done sooner rather than later,” said Jennifer Reske, the deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission. “So our regulatory efforts have been focused on accommodating their timelines.”
The state of Illinois legalized sports betting just a month after Indiana when Governor J.B. Pritzker signed IL SB 690 into law. Although sports betting has been technically legal for months, they have no rules or regulations in place yet. There is no set date as to when all will be finalized and ready to be launched to the public.
The laws for both states vary as Illinois intends to implement a tax rate of 15-percent, while Indiana is set at 9.5-percent. It is projected that once Illinois launches its sportsbooks to the public, they will have a much bigger revenue within a five-year span than that of Indiana.
Within five years, Indiana is expected to see annual revenue from sports betting at around $256 million. Illinois is expected to see $756 million in annual revenue according to studies done by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm based in California.
As for now, Indiana is the closest state for Chicago residents to travel and place their sports wagers. Indiana law will only allow for bets to be done within the casinos at this point. Anyone that wants to place a wager on the NFL will need to travel to the casino location to do so.
The first game of the NFL season is on Thursday, September 5 when the Green Bay Packers (+145) go on the road to take on the Chicago Bears (-165). Chicagoans can take the 30-mile drive to place their bets at an Indiana sportsbook.
News tags: Ameristar Casino East Chicago | Chicago | Chicago Bears | Eilers & Krejcik Gaming | Eric Holcomb | Green Bay Packers | Horseshoe Hammond | IL SB 1939 | IL SB 690 | IN H 1015 | J.B. Pritzker | NFL | northwest Indiana
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.