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Sportsbook Launch Roundup: Midwestern States Enhance Retail Offerings


With over 30 states and jurisdictions in the U.S. offering legal sports betting, it can be a challenge keeping track of the various sportsbook launches nationwide. The last few weeks have seen several retail and mobile operators enter markets or expand their reach within certain states, so we’ve put together a roundup of the recent news to help keep track. 

In Virginia, a new mobile operator entered the fray at the beginning of the week. In a pair of Midwestern states, operators recently added to their retail gaming options. 

Caesars opening lounge at IMS

Caesars will open a sports betting lounge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was announced this week. The lounge will open Saturday, making it available to fans for the GMR Grand Prix. 

“We’re extremely excited about this partnership with Caesars and believe their on-site presence — which is a first for our storied facility — will give fans a new opportunity to engage with the on-track action at the Racing Capital of the World,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles said in a press release. 

Caesars will sponsor each of the remaining races held at IMS in 2022. 

“This will be an impactful partnership for us that builds upon our commitment to the state of Indiana alongside the investments into our resorts and the communities they serve,” Eric Hession, co-president of Caesars Digital, said in a press release.

The national operator’s partnership with the IMS wasn’t the only noteworthy Indiana sports betting news of the week. 

Hard Rock launch in Indiana; new option in SD

More than a year after the opening of Hard Rock Northern Indiana in Gary, the casino launched its sportsbook on Wednesday for retail wagering. Hard Rock, which quickly became the state’s highest monthly generator of casino revenue, does not have mobile wagering available but was granted a temporary vendor license by the Indiana Gaming Commission for mobile and retail betting in January.

Retail sports wagering in Indiana accounted for roughly 7%, or $106.8 million, of the nearly $1.4 billion wagered in the first three months of 2022. Hard Rock’s peers in Northwest Indiana — Ameristar Casino in East Chicago and Horseshoe Hammond — generated close to $27 million handle combined at their brick-and-mortar venues in the first quarter.

In South Dakota, the Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel launched the Dakota Nation Sportsbook in Watertown on April 27. Dakota Nation is the seventh sportsbook to take bets since the state launched operations in September 2021. Five of the books are located in Deadwood, while Mustang Sally’s at Dakota Connection Casino in Sisseton also has action available. The Mount Rushmore State has generated $5.1 million handle since launch through March, with operators posting more than $440,000 in revenue and the state collecting close to $40,000 in tax receipts.

SI Sportsbook enters Virginia

SI Sportsbook planned to enter the Virginia market by the end of April, but a few short delays pushed the mobile sportsbook’s launch to early May. On Monday, SI Sportsbook launched in Virginia. 

The mobile sportsbook is the 13th to launch in Virginia, and Betway is expected to enter the Virginia market next week. Barring any regulatory changes, no additional mobile sports betting licenses are available in the state.

Launching in Virginia makes SI Sportsbook currently available in two states, as the mobile sportsbook is operational in Colorado as well. It could be a challenge for SI Sportsbook to make a major impact in Virginia, as major operators like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel have all been operational in Virginia for over a year.

Chris Altruda contributed to this report. 

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