Indiana sports betting handle has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The Indiana Gaming Commission’s August report shows that $169 million was wagered in Indiana last month, creating more than $934,000 in tax revenue for the state.
It was Indiana’s biggest sports betting month since the Super Bowl helped generate $187 million in handle in February. It was a major jump over the $70 million seen in July.
So, while COVID-19 continues to impact leagues and their bottom lines, it has ceased to be a major barrier for Hoosier bettors.
Helping their cause is a wide landscape of mobile betting opportunities.
Indiana betting handle is strong with flood of sporting events
August was a big month for professional sports in America.
That meant it was also a big month for Indiana sportsbooks.
The NBA and NHL playoffs got underway, including a first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers by the Miami Heat.
MLB pennant races started to roll. Leading the NL Central are the Chicago Cubs, who dominate Indiana fan bases.
It was, for sports fans, a return to some kind of normalcy.
Here’s how various sports ranked by handle in August:
- Basketball: $55.2 million
- Parlay bets: $43.6 million
- Other (including hockey): $36.3 million
- Baseball: $31 million
- Football: $717,000
How do Indiana’s sportsbooks stack up?
The number of mobile sportsbooks in Indiana continues to grow.
So does the popularity of those lined up behind behemoths DraftKings and FanDuel.
It’s highly unlikely those two sportsbooks will be ousted from the top spots any time soon. Their resources and visibility remain uniquely high.
But even third place is a lucrative place to be in Indiana’s sports betting market.
And there is no shortage of action in the race to be the best of the rest.
Currently in that spot is BetMGM, which is arguably the third-most visible sportsbook in Indiana, making its ascent unsurprising.
BetMGM usurped BetRivers, now in fourth place. On its heels is the unique sportsbook PointsBet.
Here’s how Indiana’s top five sportsbooks stacked up in terms of handle in August:
- DraftKings: $73.7 million
- FanDuel: $50 million
- BetMGM: $9.4 million
- BetRivers: $5 million
- PointsBet: $4.8 million
Will success continue in September?
It’s hard to imagine betting in Indiana will take a dive in September.
In fact, the numbers are poised to grow.
Many of the factors that led to a strong August remain – and are even amplified – in September.
And, most importantly, the NFL season has begun.
The NFL, despite protest controversies or even concerns about TV ratings, will this season bring millions of bettors and hundreds of millions of dollars to sportsbooks.
That stands true in Indiana, where Colts fans are eager to watch future Hall of Famer Philip Rivers and a team they hope can overcome a disappointing Week 1 to contend for the playoffs.
Sportsbooks in Indiana have worked to capitalize on that interest by issuing easy-money promotions they hope will entice new and occasional users.
Keep an eye out for more promotions in the early weeks of the 2020 NFL season.
Spots of concern exist for sportsbooks
One concern for Indiana sportsbooks is the expansion of sports betting inside Illinois and the loss of Chicago–based gamblers who previously traveled to Indiana to place bets.
One benefit of Indiana’s quick embrace of sports gambling was the profit it generated from out-of-state bettors hopping across state lines to wager.
But, as expected, the passage of time and growing societal acceptance of sports betting have threatened that advantage.
For now, opportunities still exist to draw in Ohio and Kentucky residents, although those states will too eventually fall in line and offer sports betting.
For now, Indiana can enjoy a huge August, and hopefully even bigger September.