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Penn National plots opening day launch for Indiana sports betting


Penn National Gaming (PNG) has revealed that it expects to take its first legal wagers in Indiana on 1 September, the first day from which bets can be placed in the state. 

The operator plans to launch sports betting at its Ameristar Casino East Chicago, a riverboat casino docked at Indiana Harbor on Lake Michigan, subject to regulatory approval. It plans to hold an opening day event featuring Chicago Bears legends Mike Ditka and Devin Hester.

“Penn National looks forward to opening a sportsbook and providing our customers with another great amenity at Ameristar Casino East Chicago,” outgoing PNG chief executive Timothy Wilmott said. 

“Indiana will soon become the 12th state to legalize sports betting following the repeal of the federal ban last year, and our patrons in Northwest Indiana can expect an incredible sports wagering experience at our facility.”

PNG will go live with sports betting kiosks and ticket writer stations at a new in-property sportsbook, located near the venue’s Stadium Sports Bar and Grill, which features a range of TV screens showing live coverage of sporting events.

“Our customers are very excited to start wagering on sports,” the casino’s general manager Matt Schuffert added. “The passion for Indiana and Illinois sports teams runs deep in this region, and we look forward to becoming a destination for fans all year-round.”

Preparations for the launch of legal sports betting in Indiana are well underway, with regulations to be finalized at a state Gaming Commission meeting scheduled for 28 August. Twelve of the state’s land-based venues have already been awarded temporary certificates of authority to launch sports betting, alongside six temporary vendor licenses, including one to PNG’s Penn Sports Interactive subsidiary.