- BetIndiana has had a temporary license in their possession from the Indiana Gaming Commission since January but no announcement of the launch of this platform has taken place.
- Their partner, Spectacle Entertainment, is part of a current federal litigation case, which could be the reason behind the delays that have plagued BetIndiana.
INDIANAPOLIS – In May 2019, sports betting was made legal in the state of Indiana and to date, many sportsbooks have opened up shop except BetIndiana.
This much-anticipated IN sports betting platform has been discussing a launch for over a year now as they partnered with the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana in October of 2019. Yet as 2020 is winding down, there is still no scheduled date for when BetIndiana plans to open up to the public.
Many believe the delays stem from an investigation involving Spectacle Entertainment, the company behind the Majestic Star Casino.
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) began investigating the business back in February. With USA Sports Gaming (the operators of BetIndiana) partnered to run mobile sportsbooks for Spectacle Entertainment in the state, the fact that the case has become federal and is ongoing could be a reason behind why the mobile platform has not yet launched.
Possible Cause For Delay
Why have Spectacle Entertainment’s legal woes become a spectacle that is now on the federal level? LegalSportsBetting reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office who said they could not comment on any pending litigation.
As of September, former state Senator Brent Waltz and John Keeler, who is employed by Spectacle Entertainment as an executive for Majestic Star Casino have been indicted and charged with fraud.
Keeler helped make “fake contributions” for Waltz’s campaign run for Congress in 2016. Thousands of dollars were put into the campaign using false corporations and invoiced accordingly. A number of donors were also asked to have their name used as “straw donors” to donate the maximum $2,700 to Waltz’s campaign. He still failed to make Congress despite these efforts.
This case has affected the company and the future of Majestic Star Casino because their top executive was involved in financial fraud.
Keeler knowingly contributed funds to try and get someone in a higher position of political power in his state of Indiana.
The IGC has to take this into account when thinking of licenses because all casino activities need to be compliant and Keeler has portrayed suspicious criminal behavior that could very well crossover into the casino business, leaving Spectacle Entertainment’s Indiana businesses and their futures as one big question mark.
What’s Being Said About BetIndiana
Owner of BetIndiana, Frank Ignatius was very excited this time last year with his Spectacle Entertainment partnership.
“This is the perfect partnership for us,” said Ignatius in November 2019. “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.”
Ignatius is also the President of USA Sports Gaming and the owner of BetChicago. While Illinois was his main focus at the start, he decided to get into the neighboring state of Indiana and their sports wagering market as well.
Last year, he claimed that live in-game wagers and every type of bet could be made using his BetIndiana platform and sports bettors would get an all-inclusive experience. But the business has not moved or progressed since January.
“We received our temporary license and we are working towards the launch of BetIndiana,” said Ignatius to LegalSportsBetting.
The IGC has confirmed that BetIndiana did receive a temporary license in January but has failed to move beyond that point. To receive an official license to operate, the platform needs to meet all of the requirements set by the IGC.
A launch date should be announced sometime before the end of 2020 per insiders surrounding the subject.
“BetIndiana was issued a temporary license in January but the IGC has not yet received a launch date request or demonstration on BetIndiana’s mobile platform. The IGC posts go-live authorizations to our website once companies establish substantial compliance with our requirements and statute,” said Sara Tait, the Executive Director of the IGC, to LegalSportsBetting.
While it’s not being said, the federal investigation involving Keeler who is employed by their partner Spectacle Entertainment could be what’s holding them back as so much is unknown on how the trial will pan out.
For now, Hoosiers will need to rely on other legal sportsbooks until BetIndiana makes their official announcement. But they can rest assured that like just like the season of winter, an announcement for BetIndiana’s launch is coming.
News tags: BetChicago | BetIndiana | Brent Waltz | Frank Ignatius | Gary | IGC | Indiana | Indiana Gaming Commission | John Keeler | Majestic Star Casino | Sara Tait | Spectacle Entertainment | U.S. Attorney’s Office | USA Sports Gaming
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.