he Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) on Wednesday authorized the state's casinos and mobile sports wagering operators to set odds and accept bets on the winners at the 92nd Academy Awards, to be held on February 9.
Under the rule, wagers are permitted on all 24 Oscar categories. Though most sportsbooks in Indiana are likely to limit betting to the six major awards: best picture, director, actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress.
Sara Tait, IGC executive director, said the Indiana law enacted last year that legalized sports wagering also permits operators to request the Gaming Commission approve betting on non-sporting events that meet specific integrity criteria. "We conducted a review and determined that the request meets the requirements of statute and IGC standards and approved the requests," Tait said, as reported by The Times of Northwest Indiana. "Should circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities, it is within the IGC's discretion to change course based upon new information."
So far, only Indiana and New Jersey have approved Oscar wagering. Garden State sportsbooks reportedly handled approximately $1 million in bets last year when New Jersey became the first state to authorize Academy Award wagers.
Oscar wagers almost certainly will be available at the FanDuel sportsbook in the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, and through the FanDuel website and mobile app, since FanDuel requested IGC approval of Academy Award bets. The DraftKings website and app, which operates in Indiana through East Chicago's Ameristar Casino, also is likely to offer odds. It was the first sportsbook last year to jump into Oscar wagering in New Jersey and joined FanDuel in requesting Indiana approval.
The Academy Awards will be telecast live from Hollywood at 7 p.m., Feb. 9.