The Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana opened its sportsbook in 2019. Now, just three years later, the casino has invested over $2 million to expand its operations. The new expansion opened earlier this week, just in time for the start of March Madness.
Hollywood Casino’s retail sportsbook has been one of the best performing operations in Indiana. However, with surrounding states likely legalizing sports betting soon, the casino had to get ahead of the competition. With the new expansion, Hollywood casino added new casino games and dining options to the already popular sportsbook.
Indiana was one of the first states to legalize sports betting. As a result, popular sportsbooks have made a name for themselves in the Hoosier State. Nationwide brands such as FanDuel and DraftKings have already carved out a large share of the Indiana online betting market. Hollywood Casino’s latest retail sportsbook expansion could make them more competitive with online betting options.
What Features Were Added During the Expansion?
Hollywood Casino and Hotel Lawrenceburg opened the doors on its retail sportsbook in 2019. It quickly established itself as one of the best retail sports betting options in the state. To try and stay at the top, Hollywood Casino has invested $2.4 million to expand its sportsbook. According to casino officials, the goal of the expansion was to enhance the player experience.
To enhance the player experience, Hollywood Casino also expanded the dining area in the retail sportsbook. In total, 50 new seats were added as well as a new menu. The expansion will also add 14 new jobs, bringing the total to roughly 700.
Hollywood Casino also added more televisions to the area, allowing bettors to watch their wagers live. The additional viewing options will come in handy right away. Hollywood Casino’s new sportsbook expansion opened Wednesday, just in time for the start of the NCAA Tournament. March Madness should help the new expansion get off on the right foot.
Why Did Hollywood Casino Remodel Their Sportsbook?
Opened just three years ago, the Barstool Sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg was not exactly outdated. However, casino officials felt the expansion was necessary to keep up with the growing competition. The sportsbook is facing mounting opposition from both online and out-of-state competitors.
Kentucky could also legalize sports betting soon, which would further decrease business at Indiana’s casinos. This is not the first time that Indiana’s gaming industry has faced a decline in the wake of other states legalizing gambling. In 2009, Ohio lawmakers approved four cities to begin operating casinos. As a result, Hollywood Casino’s profits were nearly cut in half.
Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino is the top-performing retail sportsbook in the state. Last year, they generated $15.5 million in sports betting revenue. A decline in business would certainly hurt the sportsbook’s pocketbook. Hollywood Casino is already struggling to compete with the massively popular online betting options in the state.
The Popularity of Online Sports Betting in Indiana
Indiana legalized sports betting in 2019. In October of that year, the first online sportsbooks launched in Indiana. Now, online sports betting operations take the lion’s share of sports wagers in the state. In 2021, the total sports betting handle for the state of Indiana topped $3.8 billion. Over 85% of the state’s sports betting handle was generated by online sportsbooks.
Indiana’s online sports betting industry has been wildly successful. However, according to industry experts, neighboring states could have even more success. John Atkinson has stated that Ohio’s market could be double the size of Indiana’s. Atkinson works as a development director for the UK-Based 888 Holdings. Ohio Proponents of sports betting in Kentucky believe the industry could generate $22 million in tax revenue.
Bettors at the Hollywood Casino & Resort can now take advantage of an expanded Barstool Sportsbook. The Lawrenceburg, IN casino invested over $2 million into the expansion. It opened Wednesday, the same day as the opening games of the NCAA tournament.
Hollywood Casino invested in the remodel to help stave off the competition from both online and retail sportsbooks. With neighboring states, like Kentucky and Ohio, moving toward legalized sports betting, Indiana operators could lose some of their customers. Casino officials hope that the recent renovations will keep customers coming back despite there being more convenient betting options.
Indiana’s retail sportsbooks already face massive competition from online retailers. Online sportsbooks generate more than 80% of the sports betting handle in the Hoosier State. To stay competitive, Hollywood Casino and others will need to continue to find ways to attract and keep customers.