Oscar betting raising concerns about future gaming expansion

National Politics
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It’s now legal to place bets on the winners of the Oscars in Indiana. While some feel this expansion of gaming is going too far, others are excited about the opportunity.

A lot goes into film making.

“Cinematography, you know, art, direction, production, design, all of it is very laser-focused to tell a story,” said movie buff Craig Mince.

“Movies are kind of my thing,” said Mince. “The Oscars are like my Super Bowl. There’s a lot of us out there that focus primarily on the Oscars kind of as that one night when you get the glitz and the glam and feel affirmed by your decisions in film making and film taste.”

He’s not a gambling man, but he just might start betting on the Academy Awards, now that Indiana became the second state to make it legal.

“It kind of puts a whole different spin on it in all honesty,” said Mince.

Some people feel this expansion of gaming could be a slippery slope. For example, will Indiana start allowing bets on the results of elections? We asked the Indiana Gaming Commission if this was being considered. It said not at this time but it’s impossible to say whether there will be interest in the future.

“I certainly hope no one goes in the direction of elections,” said Speaker Brian Bosma. “We are more concerned about people voting than placing the bet on the vote.”

“I knew other countries do it,” said House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta. “Because I sort of followed that over the years. I would have to think about that. I don’t know.”

Even Mince said that expanding to elections might be taking it too far.

“There’s no chance right now whether it be sports betting or Oscar betting that the audience can affect the outcome whereas with elections the audience could sway the outcome obviously whether it be a positive or a negative,” said Mince.

He’s excited to see how this impacts the Academy Award experience. He already knows his picks this year.

“Actor, I’d probably have to go with Joaquin Phoenix, and honestly I think he has won just about every award he has been nominated for this character,” said Mince. “So, I’m going to lock that one in as kind of the shoo-in of the picks.”

Draftkings and Fan Duel are expected to be the first to offer Oscar bets in Indiana.

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