By RACHAEL KRAUSE | WAVE 3 News
Looking to bet on the Cards game or on the Super Bowl winner next year?
You can now place those bets legally in southern Indiana, as Horseshoe Casino’s The Book is now open for business.
A lot of people lined up inside the riverboat to place their first legal sports bets at Horseshoe Casino on Thursday afternoon. With sports betting rolling out here in the Hoosier state Sept. 1, it’s a day many people have been waiting anxiously for.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb legalized sports betting in May, setting the stage for casinos here and around Indiana to set up their version of sports betting.
Here at Horseshoe, it’s a little different. Their setup is only temporary, serving for only a few months as they finish up work on their $90-million land-based casino that will be known as Caesar’s. And when it’s done, betting at The Book will look a little different.
“Um, about a million times different,” said Jimmy Allen, sportsbook and poker manager for Horseshoe Southern Indiana. “It’s going to be about 50 times this size, the general area. We’re going to have a 60-foot TV, VIP areas, chairs, it’s going to be very nice. State of the art, it’s going to be awesome.”
The draw of legal sports betting here lured many from around the region looking to place those first legal bets, including “The Golden Boy” himself, former Green Bay Packer star Paul Hornung. Hornung placed the casino’s first legal sports bet Thursday, something he said is an exciting change for the state.
“It was a big move, you know?” the former Notre Dame and Green Bay star asked. “So, I’m going to be able to now come legally over here and make a bet on Notre Dame, watch my old team play or watch the Packers play. So I enjoy it.”
Hornung put his money down on the Packers to beat the Vikings this weekend, and the Saints to win the Super Bowl. A big crowd of people lined up behind him to place their bets on upcoming games, too.
Harrison County leaders said they expect the addition of sports betting to bring in big revenue for the state and for southern Indiana, especially as people come across the river to place those bets.
Allen said the legalization of sports betting also gives people a safe, trusted environment to bet through, instead of going through a bookie or an offshore, online service. With big sporting events coming up like the World Series and March Madness, people here are hopeful that you’ll ditch the trip to Las Vegas and place your bets right here at home.