EAST CHICAGO and HAMMOND - A pair of northwest Indiana casinos will soon add sports wagering to their offerings. Horseshoe Hammond Casino and Ameristar Casino East Chicago are both set to open sports betting areas at their respective casinos ahead of the kickoff to the 2019 NFL season.

Horseshoe Hammond will open The Book, a 5,300-square-foot sports book which will allow people to wager on a variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball and hockey, beginning September 4. The casino says there will be other opportunities for sports wagering, including auto racing, boxing, mixed martial arts, and the Olympics.

The Book is one of seven sports books planned to open in September at Caesars locations in Indiana. The other locations include Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, and Winner's Circle locations in Indianapolis New Haven.

"The legalization of sports betting in Indiana presents a huge opportunity for Horseshoe Hammond," said Dan Nita, regional president of Caesars Entertainment, the parent of Horseshoe Hammond. "We recognize the need to continually evolve and offer our guests new and exciting entertainment experiences. We are proud to be among the first in Indiana to offer sports betting. I’m optimistic of the positive effect this will have on attracting new customers to our casino."

Ameristar parent Penn National Gaming Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) says its casino will begin offering sports betting September 1. The casino will feature sports betting kiosks and ticket writer stations, as well as a new sports book near the main entrance and the Stadium Sports Bar and Grill. 

"Our customers are very excited to start wagering on sports," said Matt Schuffert, general manager at Ameristar Casino East Chicago. “The passion for Indiana and Illinois sports teams runs deep in this region, and we look forward to becoming a destination for fans all year-round.”

Chicago Bears legends Mike Ditka and Devin Hester will be on hand to celebrate the first wagers at the Ameristar Casino.

The move comes months after the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1015, which legalized sports betting at Indiana casinos and via smartphones. The bill was signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb in May.

Horseshoe Hammond says it also plans to introduce mobile sports betting technology in the near future.