All Of Indiana’s Neighbors Now Have Legal Sports Betting

Indiana’s reign as a haven for sports betting has ultimately come to an end. Sports betting is now legal in all of its surrounding states.

It wasn’t until nearly four years after Indiana legalized sports betting in 2019 that all of its neighboring states followed suit.

Last week, Kentucky, the final holdout, narrowly succeeded in signing its sports betting bill into law. The Bluegrass State finally managed to do so.

Indiana was among the pioneers in legalizing sports betting.

Indiana has consistently led the nation in the expansion of gambling.

During the 1990s, the state was proactive in establishing casinos, unlike other states. Even today, some states still lack their own casinos.

Indiana was also at the forefront of the sports betting curve. It was among the earliest states in the country to legalize and establish its betting industry.

At that period, Indiana was the sole state in the region providing legal betting. Therefore, for residents of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio or Kentucky, the only way to place legal bets was to drive to Indiana.

The Hoosier State initially had an advantage, but its neighboring states have gradually begun to erode that lead.

Years ago, Michigan and Illinois entered the sports betting scene, but Ohio and Kentucky were more hesitant. Ohio’s sportsbooks began accepting their first bets on New Year’s Day. With Kentucky legislators now legalizing sports betting, the final piece is set to fall into place.

Monopoly on Midwest sports betting ends

The legalization of sports betting in new states is thrilling for their residents, however, it negatively impacts the industry in Indiana. The Hoosier State enjoyed the benefits of this industry before its neighboring states joined in.

The process of online sports betting was simplified, requiring only a brief trip across the Indiana border. This allowed residents of other states to place bets via their smartphones.

This practice was extremely prevalent in the early days of sports betting in Indiana, particularly in or near major cities like Chicago, Louisville, and Cincinnati.

Nevertheless, Indiana’s dominance over the Midwest is no longer. There’s no need for residents of these states to travel to Indiana for betting anymore. Why make a trip to another state when you can place bets comfortably from your home?

Indiana still has a window to benefit from increased revenue numbers from Kentucky residents, as sports betting became legal there as of March 31. However, it will take some time for the state to formally establish this new industry.

The anticipated decline in Indiana sports betting this year will only be exacerbated by the launch of Kentucky’s betting industry.

The changes that have occurred in Indiana have not been unforeseen, at the very least. As the saying goes, every good thing must eventually end. However, sports betting is a beloved pastime for Hoosiers. Therefore, despite the impending competition from neighboring regions, it’s safe to say that sports betting will continue to thrive in Indiana.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a Gambling Industry Analyst in the US for Catena Media, with a focus on Midwest sports betting and casino content. Before his stint in the legal gambling sector, he was a professional sports writer, covering teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Indiana Pacers. Currently, Garza holds the position of Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, and has previously worked with renowned brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. Since 2019, he has been reporting on the gambling industry, collaborating with a team of journalists to deliver in-depth coverage of the legal U.S. gambling sector.

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