A brand new sportsbook opened its doors for the first time in Indiana as the Rising Star Sportsbook officially began accepting wagers Monday.
The sportsbook will be operated under Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica brand and in partnership with SBTech. It’s the first SBTech sportsbook to open in Indiana, making The Hoosier State the sixth state where the sportsbook services provider does business over the past 18 months.
Customers can now step up to any of 12 state-of-the-art kiosks near the entrance of the casino to bet and the book also features a full-service bar and cashiers. It currently offers only in-person betting but anticipates its online/mobile sports betting platform to launch by the end of the year.
The casino is in Rising Sun, Indiana, about 38 miles from the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since Ohio has yet to legalize sports betting, the book will serve a lot of prospective bettors who would be unable to lay down wagers in their hometown.
The opening certainly catered to Cincinnati sports fans with former Bengals players Louis Breeden, Joe Walter, Kevin Walker, Robert Jackson, Richard Carey and Joe Kelly on hand to place the ceremonial first bets at the sportsbook.
Patrons will be allowed to bet on 23 approved sports markets including the NFL, NBA, MLB, MMA, MLS and other soccer leagues as well as NCAA Division 1 athletics.
While Rising Star is not the first casino located close to Cincy to open for sports bets (it’s the third behind Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg and Belterra Casino in Florence) there is plenty of optimism that it will be a favorite among Queen City residents.
General manager Ben Douglass said Rising Star is prepared to serve Bengals, Reds and Buckeyes fans among others. Fans can even bet, he told Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT-TV , on “when the Bengals will get their first win.”
“We are excited to be able to offer sports betting to our guests here at Rising Star,” Douglass told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The sports betting industry is expected to provide Indiana with hundreds of new jobs as well as an additional $150 million in annual state tax revenue over the next five years.”
Indiana became the eighth state to open sports betting at operational sportsbooks when it signed wagering into law on May 8.
Mobile and online betting came later and still has a ways to go in the state.
SBTech US president Melissa Riahei told Indianapolis TV station WISH that the company is thrilled to get started in Indiana.
“We are very excited to be entering the great state of Indiana,” Riahei said. "Our on-property sportsbook product has been extremely successful to date, and we look forward to replicating that success for Rising Star Casino, in partnership with Churchill Downs."
SBTech partnered recently with the Oregon State Lottery to offer sports betting and also has existing agreements with Golden Nugget and Resorts Casino Hotel.