Hoosier State focus: Two more Indiana casinos to launch sports betting by Sept. 1 Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · August 21, 2019 at 3:49 pm With football season looming, Indiana is becoming a sports gambling epicenter in the Midwest. Two Hoosier State casinos – Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg and Tropicana Evansville – said Wednesday they will launch sportsbooks by the beginning of September, when both college football and NFL games will be underway. State lawmakers approved a sports betting measure in July, and the Indiana Gaming Commission is expected to adopt rules covering the activity at a hearing next week, opening the door for 10 of the state’s 12 casinos to offer sports betting by Sept. 1. Three off-track betting sites were also approved. Penn National Gaming plans to launch sports betting at the Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg, which is approximately 20 miles due west of Cincinnati. The casino will have two of the city’s Hall of Fame sports legends, Cincinnati Bengals tackle Anthony Munoz and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Tony Perez, place the initial sports bets. “This region is a hotbed of both professional sports and college athletics, and we hope to become a destination for fans from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky,” Ryan Coppola, assistant general manager of Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg, said in a statement. On the same day, the company will open a sportsbook at its Ameristar Casino East Chicago, which is roughly a 40-minute drive from downtown Chicago and will have former Chicago Bears legends Mike Ditka and Devin Hester on hand to place the first wagers. Meanwhile, William Hill US announced it would open a sportsbook at the Tropicana Evansville, which is operated by Eldorado Resorts. The sportsbook location is a remodel of the property’s current 421 Lounge and is slated to open in time for football season. The casino will be Las Vegas-based William Hill’s first Indiana sportsbook and its 143rd sports wagering location in the U.S. Both deals are pending Indiana Gaming Commission approval. “Tropicana Evansville is a great destination, nestled between Nashville, Louisville and St. Louis, and we look forward to serving guests with our 85 years of sports betting experience,” said David Grolman, president of retail operations for William Hill US. Indiana will become the 12th state to operate legal sports betting following the repeal of the federal ban on the activity by the U.S. Supreme Court 15 months ago. “The enthusiasm around sports betting has been growing since the federal ban was repealed last year, and we look forward to providing our patrons with another great amenity to enjoy at our facility,” Penn National CEO Tim Wilmott said in a statement. William Hill and Eldorado have a partnership agreement in which the casino company was given a 20 percent ownership stake in the sportsbook operator in exchange for a 25-year deal for William Hill to operate facilities in the company’s casinos where sports betting is legal. The stake was valued at $50 million. Eldorado also received 13.4 million ordinary shares of William Hill US parent William Hill PLC, which is traded on the London Stock Exchange. William Hill said in June the company believes the partnership with Eldorado gives it access to oversee sports betting at the Caesars Entertainment casinos being acquired in the pending $17.3 billion merger between the two gaming companies. Caesars has four casino locations in Indiana. Two casinos in Indiana – Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun and Majestic Star Casino in Gary – are currently without licenses to conduct sports wagering. Penn National operates 41 casinos in 19 states. Ten of the company’s jurisdictions have regulated sports betting. Others are expected to launch sports betting or are considering legislation to legalize the activity. Malta-based Kambi provides the sports betting technology for Penn’s retail sportsbooks at the company’s Iowa and Indiana properties. Earlier this month, Penn National divided up the casino company’s potential online sports betting and online gaming operations, announcing multi-year agreements with four sports wagering operators. The agreements with DraftKings, PointsBet, theScore and The Stars Group gives the companies access to the Penn National’s online partnerships – often referred to as skins – and provides the casino company with a combination of upfront cash and equity, one-time market access fees and ongoing revenue sharing. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.