Indiana’s first sports wagering facility, Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub, officially opened at noon Sunday at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville.
Governor Eric Holcomb placed the first official wager – a $10 bet for the Indianapolis Colts to win the Super Bowl, a $10 bet for the Indiana Pacers to win the NBA championship, and a $10 bet for the Indiana Fever to win Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Lynx (the Lynx won 81-73).
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the facility was opened with patrons making wagers before 1 p.m.
Ron Baumann, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand, noted the excitement from the entire team at the Caesars Entertainment owned Indiana Grand and thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication in getting the new state of the art facility prepared to open.
“In early spring, legislation passed and now on September 1, we are opening the very first Sports Book for the state of Indiana,” said Baumann in a media release. “A special thanks to executive director Sara Tait and the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) for getting us here today.”
Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun was part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony and spoke on the impact Indiana Grand has had on local tourism and development.
“We have become an entertainment destination and this facility only broadens our entertainment opportunities for the county and the state of Indiana,” said DeBaun. “We are very thankful this facility is in our county.”
State Representative Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) believes sports wagering will assist in facing competition from neighboring states.
“Sports wagering coupled with live table games coming online New Year’s Day will really set this facility apart,” said Eberhart. “In discussions with Caesars Entertainment, this facility will be the second largest property in their portfolio behind only Caesars Palace in Vegas, and that is pretty exciting. It’s very cool to have that right here in our backyard.”
Sports betting also opened Sunday at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago and the Hollywood casino in Lawrenceburg.
Most of Indiana’s 13 state-regulated casinos and all three off-track betting parlors plan on offering sports betting by the end of September. They expect to attract gamblers from neighboring states where sports wagers aren’t allowed.
The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved the Horseshoe Hammond casino to start taking wagers on Wednesday. The French Lick Resort has approval for opening its sportsbook on Friday.