Governor Eric Holcomb Places First Legal Sports Bets in Indiana

  • Holcomb's three bets at the Indiana Grand Casino were all on home-state teams
  • Sports betting officially kicked off on September 1 after being made legal in May
  • Ten casinos and three off-track betting facilities now have sportsbooks open in the state
flag of Indiana state on a pole attached to a white building
Sportsbooks in Indiana opened on September 1, with Governor Holcomb placing the first-ever sports wagers in the state. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Governor bets on favorite teams

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently placed the first sports wagers since sports betting became legal in the state. The bets were made at the Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville on September 1, the first official day that sportsbooks could open for business.

the governor will donate the winnings to the Indiana Canine Assistant Network

Holcomb placed a number of different bets on some of his favorite teams. These included a $10 wager on the Indianapolis Colts to be crowned Super Bowl champions and a $10 bet on the Indiana Pacers to win the NBA Championship. He also bet $10 on the Indiana Fever to win their game on Sunday night, which they lost. 

If any bets are successful, the governor will donate the winnings to the Indiana Canine Assistant Network, a non-profit group which provides service dogs to people with disabilities. 

Bright future

With the addition of a designated sports betting lounge, the Indiana Grand Casino is now the second-biggest Caesars Entertainment property in the world, preceded only by the iconic Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

legal sports betting is not just a great boost for Shelbyville, but for the state of Indiana as a whole

State Representative Sean Eberhart spoke at the sportsbook’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. He talked about how legal sports betting is not just a great boost for Shelbyville, but for the state of Indiana as a whole.

Eberhart also talked about how Indiana can now compete better with some of its neighboring states when it comes to gambling. 

Sportsbook locations

In total, the Indiana Gaming Commission gave the green light for thirteen properties to begin accepting sports bets on Sunday. Ten of these facilities are casinos, with the other three locations being off-track betting parlors.

The casinos are the Ameristar (East Chicago), the Belterra Casino Resort (Florence), Blue Chip Casino (Michigan City), Horseshoe Southern Indiana riverboat casino (Elizabeth), Blue Sky Casino (French Lick), Hollywood Casino (Lawrenceburg), Harrah’s Hoosier Park (Anderson), Horseshoe Casino (Hammond), Indian Grand Racing and Casino (Shelbyville), and Tropicana Evansville Casino.

The three off-track sites are in New Haven, Clarksville, and Indianapolis. 

Road to legalization

It was in April 2019 that the House and the Senate in Indiana came to an agreement on a final sports betting bill, which was signed into law by Governor Holcomb in May. 

The bill allows for mobile sports betting and implements a fair tax rate of 9.5% on adjusted gross revenues for sportsbooks operating in the state.