Indiana Sportsbooks Now Approved For Oscars 2020 Betting
The Indiana Gaming Commission announced on Wednesday that it would allow wagering on the Feb. 9 Academy Awards, clearing the way for top Indiana sportsbooks to follow New Jersey’s lead and offer odds.
Indiana will join New Jersey as the only two of 14 states with sports betting legal and underway to offer the novelty market. New Jersey offered wagering on both the Oscars and Emmy Awards last year.
DraftKings, the first to offer Oscars odds in New Jersey, and FanDuel had each requested the Academy Awards market of the IGC. As of late Wednesday, no sportsbook had confirmed they would offer the bets, though they are expected to do so.
“Following approval in New Jersey, both DraftKings and FanDuel made requests to the IGC to offer wagering on the 2020 Academy Awards as an ‘other event’ pursuant to the authorization contained within statute,” IGC executive director Sara Gonso Tait told Gambling.com in an email. “We conducted a review and determined that the request meets the requirements of statute and IGC standards and approved the requests.”
New Jersey Pioneer in Legal Entertainment Betting
New Jersey sportsbooks reportedly handled about $1 million in bets on the Oscars last year. DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello, a long-time enthusiast for entertainment betting who yearly produced “entertainment-only” Academy Awards odds, last year finally got to concoct odds for real.
“It was very successful in that the customers really enjoyed it,” Avello told Gambling.com. “There were a lot of women that played that, opened up new accounts, so it kind of brought out a whole new type of bettor, someone interested more in the entertainment side and then it gives DraftKings, a presence in the entertainment world.”
Avello believes the market will continue to grow this year.
“This is something dear to my heart for many years,” Avello continued. “As we get closer - the action's been pretty good so far - but as we get closer, it'll be the Sunday, during the day when we’ll probably write the most action. I think a lot of people will bet it during the day leading up to the start of the program.”
Most states do not allow wagering on events with predetermined outcomes such as awards shows.
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Indiana Second State to Take Oscars Bets
Indiana will permit wagering on the winners of all 24 Oscars categories. Like in New Jersey, bets will be limited to $1,000. All wagering will conclude when the show begins.
The Oscars betting market in New Jersey was briefly taken down last year amid suspicion of betting irregularities in the best director category.
“Should circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities, it is within the IGC’s discretion to change course based upon new information,” Gonso Tait said. “Similar to other states, the IGC is implementing the following limits applicable to these markets: a maximum bet of $1,000 or a win limit of $1,000, whichever is greater.”
Since launching with full mobile and retail in 2019, Indiana has become a noteworthy bastion of legal sports betting, with in-state sportsbooks snuggled up to the Illinois border and nearby Chicago, copious amount of professional and amateur sports and an IGC willingness to explore exotic betting markets. With Super Bowl 54 approaching, Indiana sportsbooks are allowed to take wagers on oddities such as the color of the celebratory post-game Gatorade shower and who the MVP will thanks first.
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