EAST CHICAGO — The parent company of the Ameristar Casino is preparing to launch online sports wagering in Indiana sometime next year, following its rollout of in-casino betting on professional and college sporting events likely in September.
Penn National Gaming, Inc., which operates Ameristar and some 40 other gaming facilities across 19 states, has inked a deal with four sports betting operators to serve the casino company's online sports wagering patrons throughout the country.
The agreements give DraftKings, PointsBet, theScore and The Stars Group the option to own, operate and brand real-money online sports wagering in association with Penn National casinos, in exchange for upfront cash and equity, one-time market access fees and ongoing revenue sharing.
"Sports betting represents an exciting growth opportunity for Penn National," said Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National senior vice president for interactive.
"By controlling our front-end product and leveraging our vast casino footprint, our company is well-positioned to execute on a sports betting strategy that maximizes value to shareholders."
In April, Hoosier lawmakers authorized in-casino and mobile sports wagering to begin in Indiana on or after Sept. 1, following the anticipated Aug. 28 approval of sports wagering regulations by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The proposed regulations authorize betting on the major domestic and international professional leagues, and Division I college teams, in auto racing, baseball, basketball, bowling, boxing, cricket, darts, football, golf, hockey, lacrosse, mixed martial arts, the Olympics, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, tennis and track and field.
All five Region casinos are expected to offer in-casino sports wagering by the end of the year, with mobile to follow — generally on timetables set by the parent company of each of the casinos.
Besides Penn National's Ameristar, Northwest Indiana's casinos are owned by Caesars Entertainment (Hammond Horseshoe); Spectacle Entertainment (Majestic Star I and II in Gary); and Boyd Gaming (Blue Chip Michigan City).
Records show Caesars and Boyd, like Penn National, already have deals in place with mobile sports wagering operators.
Spectacle appears, for the moment, to be more focused on finalizing the move of its casinos from Lake Michigan to a land-based site adjacent to the Borman Expressway at Burr Street, and its rebranding as Hard Rock Casino Gary.