The Korea Baseball Organization is now available for betting in Indiana.
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) gave the state’s online sportsbooks the green light to start taking bets on May 4.
Since COVID-19 has put the start of the MLB season on hold, baseball fans now have something to look forward to.
The KBO isn’t hugely popular in the US, but it is one of the better baseball leagues in the world. The league does churn out some MLB prospects from time to time too, which could be another incentive for fans to tune in.
Opening day for the KBO season is May 5, and DraftKings already has odds up for those first few games.
The KBO could be a much-needed boost for Indiana’s sportsbooks
Things are slowly picking up for Indiana’s online sportsbooks. The sports world slowed to a crawl in mid-March, and since then, sportsbooks really haven’t had a lot to offer. That’s finally starting to change.
The NFL Draft was the biggest betting event recently, but as it came and went, sportsbooks needed to shift their focus somewhere else.
Table tennis has been popular for betting since the “main” sports leagues shut down. However, most bettors haven’t exactly been enthralled with the chance to bet on it.
The UFC tossed out a lifeline to sportsbooks looking for something new. Although UFC 249 was pushed back from its original April 18 date, the event is now back on for May 9.
NASCAR is also picking things back up, providing another much-needed option for betting. Racing will begin again on May 17 at Darlington Raceway.
Now, Korean baseball is joining the party to give bettors another option.
The KBO may be new to gamblers in Indiana, but it shows that the IGC is actively working with sportsbooks to get creative and keep the new options coming for the Hoosier State.
ESPN signs deal to broadcast KBO games
ESPN inked a deal to show live KBO games on throughout the league’s entire season.
Although the league is starting six weeks later than it usually does, the KBO plans on playing a full 144 game season.
ESPN will be showing six of those games per week. That gives the KBO a big leg up on some of the more obscure sports when it comes to betting.
For example, you can bet on table tennis, but there isn’t really an easily accessible way to watch those matchups on a consistent basis. Being able to watch the games you’re betting on live certainly adds to the experience. Since a huge chunk of the population has access to ESPN, that will help spark some extra betting interesting for those baseball games.
However, there is a downside to all of this.
Obviously, South Korea is on a very different timezone compared to the US. That means that most of these matches will be happening between 1-5 a.m. in Indiana.
That definitely puts a sort of ceiling on how popular betting on and watching these KBO games will become. Most gamblers just won’t be willing to stay up all night for the sake of Korean baseball.
Despite the hurdles with the time slot, the KBO will still be a new betting option.
Big UFC events are few and far between and NASCAR’s schedule is still limited. With six different KBO games a week on ESPN, Hoosiers will have a new consistent option for sports betting.