For the very first time and just several months after sports betting was legalized in Indiana, state bettors will be able to place wagers on the upcoming Academy Awards, news emerged on Wednesday.
The Indiana Gaming Commission authorized the state’s retail and mobile sportsbooks to set odds and take bets on the winners of the most popular annual movie awards show.
Under the newly implemented rules, sports betting operators are allowed to accept bets on all 24 Oscar categories. However, following news about Indiana permitting betting on the Academy Awards, analysts said that the state’s wagering venues, both retail and mobile ones, will likely limit gambling to the six major categories – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.
Indiana legalized sports betting as part of a larger gambling expansion bill in the summer of 2019. The legislation authorized all of the state’s casinos to run retail and digital sports betting operations, should they feel so inclined to do so.
Indiana’s first retail sportsbooks opened doors in early September, and the state’s first mobile betting apps were rolled out the following month.
Indiana Gaming Commission Executive Director Sara Tait explained on Wednesday that under the sports betting law that was enacted last summer, wagering operators can ask the state gambling regulator to approve betting on non-sporting events as soon as such events meet certain integrity criteria.
Indiana, New Jersey Are the Only States to Permit Betting on the Oscars
FanDuel was the sports betting operator that requested the authorization of betting on the upcoming Academy Awards. The company operates a 2,730-square-foot sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City and also services Indiana bettors through a FanDuel website and mobile app.
During the Indiana Gaming Commission’s Wednesday meeting, the regulator’s Executive Director said that they had conducted a review into FanDuel’s request and determined that it met the requirements of statute and commission standards. The agency then moved to approve the request.
Ms. Tait clarified that “should circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities, it is within the [Indiana Gaming Commission’s] discretion to change course based upon new information.”
The commission’s decision on Wednesday made Indiana only the second US state to take bets on the Oscars since the Supreme Court struck down in May 2018 a federal sports gambling ban. New Jersey allowed bettors to wager money on the 2019 Academy Awards winners.
According to Garden State financial data, its sportsbooks handled around $1 million in bets on last year’s edition of the awards ceremony. Sports betting operators only took wagers on the above-mentioned six main categories.
Being the operator to request the authorization of betting on the Academy Awards in Indiana, FanDuel will most certainly offer bettors the chance to place money on who they think will win an Oscar Statuette. DraftKings is likely to join the party. Last year, the operator was the first to jump into the Oscars betting frenzy and it joined its rival FanDuel in requesting regulatory OK from the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 9 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Source: Indiana OKs casino, mobile sportsbook wagers on the Oscars
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