‘Out of the dark, into the light’ – An analysis of mobile sports betting

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Sunday could be the biggest day for mobile sports betting apps, as Indiana joins legal states betting on the Super Bowl

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Four months after mobile sports betting became legal in the Hoosier state, betters consider waging on the biggest game of the year – the Super Bowl.

What is ‘mobile sports betting?’

According to the American Gaming Association, across the country, more than 1 in 10 people plan to bet on Sunday’s game. Nearly five million of those people will bet online or using an app on a phone.

“Most people have made a bet with their buddy or something like that,” Jamie Shea, the head of Sportsbook Digital at DraftKings explained. “It’s just taking that to a different extreme, because we have so much content. It allows you to bet while the game is going on, so you have live betting. And everybody does everything on their mobile device now, so this is no different.”

Two of the biggest mobile sports betting apps in the country are DraftKings and FanDuel. The outlets allow betters to deposit money, place bets before or during games and withdraw the winnings. They offer many different betting choices from who will when the game to result of an upcoming play.

Legal Prop Bets in Indiana

From football and basketball to darts and bowling, the Indiana Gaming Commission produces a list of approved events for sports wagering. A subcategory of the list under the NFL is Additional Wagering Markets Approved for the 2020 NFL Championship Game, aka prop bets.

  • Coin toss outcome
  • Player to correctly call coin toss
  • Team to win coin toss and game
  • Color of Gatorade Shower
  • Who will win Super Bowl MVP thank first?
  • Player to retire after game
  • Will there be a flea flicker?

How the Hoosier State Compares

“The states (where it’s not legal) are looking at the other states and saying this is revenue we can use, we’re generating revenue that can be put in schools and roads,” Shea added. “Indiana did it right from the beginning. I think the regulations are good.”

Indiana became the 13th state in the country to legalize mobile sports betting. The Indiana Gaming Commission can confirm hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by gamblers since mobile sports betting became legal in the state. $161 million was wagered in December alone with more than $1 million in taxes accumulated.

The amount of app users is harder information to come by. Neither representatives of DraftKings, nor FanDuel would confirm how many Hoosiers use the apps or the amount of money deposited. When asked the same questions, the Indiana Gaming Commission referred WANE 15 back to the companies.

“Unfortunately, in a hotly contested market like Indiana – most of your questions are proprietary information,” Kevin Hennessy from FanDuel explained.

On predicting how many Hoosiers will bet for Sunday’s game, Hennessy offered a comparison to New Jersey’s stats from last year’s Super Bowl. They show it was the biggest day of the year for the sportsbook, with customers winning more than $5 million. This year is expected to be bigger with more states, including Indiana, now legalizing the betting.

A poll posted to Chris Darby’s facebook page this week tested the waters of how many people would be wagering legal bets on the Super Bowl. Out of 465 votes, 22% said they were ready to gamble. 78% of the voters plan to sit the game out.

Preventing betting from becoming a dangerous game

With the ease of mobile betting, comes greater concerns of gambling addiction. It was involved in the drafting of the bill that would eventually legalize mobile sports betting.

The State of Indiana offers resources for Hoosiers looking for help with gambling addiction. That can be found here: https://www.in.gov/igc/problemgamblinghelp/2332.htm

DraftKings offers options for people to avoid addiction by offering a ‘Responsible Gaming’ section on the Sportsbook app. Players can set spending spending, wager and time limits. There’s also a ‘cool off’ function pausing use of the app and a ‘Patron Protection’ section offering facts about the dangers of gambling and contact information for help with addiction.

“We’re trying to get sports betting out of the dark, into the light, have it regulated, make sure it’s safe and make sure that people are responsible,” Shea said. “That’s not what [illegal markets] are after. They’re looking after the dollar, not the player.”

Interview: DraftKings a fan of Indiana

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