Posted on: May 13, 2022, 08:23h. 

Last updated on: May 13, 2022, 11:32h.

The Hard Rock Northern Indiana, the state’s newest sportsbook, opened earlier this week.

Hard Rock Northern Indian
Hard Rock Northern Indiana, a casino in Gary that opened a year ago, opened its sportsbook earlier this week. The venue features a staffed counter and about two dozen kiosks. (Image: Hard Rock Northern Indiana)

The venue elebrated the grand opening of its retail sportsbook on Wednesday. Located at the northern end of the state’s newest casino, the venue offers a ticket counter that’s open until 10 pm CT on weeknights and 11 pm CT on weekends. It also has about two dozen kiosks available for around-the-clock betting.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) signed off on authorizing Hard Rock to take sports wagers on Wednesday. Under IGC guidelines, the Hard Rock sportsbook will take wagers on all major professional and collegiate team sports. Bets on golf tournaments, tennis matches, UFC matches, and NASCAR races will also be available.

Hard Rock also will offer pre-game, in-game, and futures betting opportunities. Casino patrons will be able to watch games on a large digital display. Food from the casino’s Hard Rock Café will also be available.

An online app will be available soon, the casino says on its website. In Indiana, a licensed casino can partner with up to three skins or online operators.

Casino’s One Year Anniversary Approaches

The sportsbook launches as Hard Rock approaches the one-year anniversary of the $300 million casino’s grand opening.

Hard Rock Northern Indiana will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Saturday with a star-studded bash highlighted by a free concert from hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash.

The casino will also hold several drawings during the day, with loyalty program members eligible to win $2,500 in free play. Before he goes on stage, Grandmaster Flash is scheduled to draw the grand prize winner, who will receive $25,000 in free play.

The 200,000-square-foot facility in Gary offers more than 1,600 slot machines and 80 table games. Besides the Hard Rock Café, the casino offers four other dining options, and its concert hall opened last fall.

Hard Rock Northern Indiana came to fruition after Spectacle Entertainment bought the Majestic Star, a two-riverboat casino based in Gary’s Buffington Harbor, in 2018. Through a bill state lawmakers passed a year later, casino developers were able to move the casino five miles inland in the Rust Belt city.

That move allowed it to venture away from two casinos that were closer to the Illinois state line on Interstate 90. Now, it’s the only casino on Interstate 80/94, with more direct access to residents of Chicago’s southern suburbs.

Top-Performing Casino

Hard Rock’s sportsbook will be hard-pressed to match the performance of the casino.

Since October, the Gary casino has topped the IGC’s monthly reports for adjusted gross revenue. On Thursday, when the commission released the April report, Hard Rock’s $36.7 million in Aggregated Gross Revenues (AGR) was more than $5 million better than Horseshoe Indianapolis. The Caesars Entertainment racino had the second-highest amount at $31.6 million.

Before deducting $1.5 million in free-play credits, the Hard Rock reported a total win of $38.2 million. While it ranked second to Horseshoe Indy for slot revenue, the $12.7 million in table game revenues nearly doubled the second-best performer, Horseshoe Hammond. The casino, located just past the Indiana-Illinois state line, took in $6.9 million in off-table games.