Sports Betting Is Here, but Someone Has to Set the Odds

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Sports Betting Is Here, but Someone Has to Set the Odds

Casinos seek ways to set their sportsbooks apart from their competitors

(FRENCH LICK, Ind.) -For Indiana casinos, offering sports wagering has meant finding someone to set the odds.

Some casinos' Las Vegas parent companies already operate sportsbooks there. Others signed contracts with oddsmaking companies. The Ameristar and Hollywood Casinos partnered with the Maltese firm Kambi, while French Lick has signed on with Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive. British oddsmaker William Hill, which already sets the lines at some Vegas books, will be in charge at Tropicana Evansville when that casino gets the green light to begin sports betting.

Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City will start taking sports wagers Thursday, followed on Monday by its sister casino Belterra in Switzerland County. Both received the green light from the state just before the holiday weekend. When Horseshoe-Southern Indiana begins taking bets September 12, nine casinos, racinos, and off-track betting parlors will offer sports wagering. Hoosier Park, Tropicana, and Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun are still awaiting approval.

Though the oddsmakers use different algorithms and approaches, they typically end up with similar betting lines. But Rush Street co-founder Richard Schwartz says French Lick will have betting specials for games of interest like "Sunday Night Football," and for local teams. If the Colts are favored by five points, for instance, the line might be sliced to four within Indiana.

Schwartz says Rush Street will try to set itself apart with betting kiosks to let you put your bets down faster and get back to watching the game, and quicker payouts when you win. And the casinos themselves have redesigned big-screen lounges for gamblers to watch and bet.

Without the hometown discount, Rush Street currently has the Colts as seven-point underdogs to the Los Angeles Chargers for Sunday's season opener.

(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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