In NBA Jam parlance, Indiana is on fire.
Another month, another record.
Sportsbooks gained nearly $30 million in revenue, while the state took home around $2.8 million in taxes.
It was, once again, a good month for all involved.
Sports betting remains a bright spot in Indiana
Since its legalization in fall 2019, Indiana has generated the fourth-highest handle of any state.
The state is approaching $2.6 billion in bets, creating more than $209 million in revenue for operators and nearly $20 million in taxes.
No month emphasized that success more than January.
The record achievement can be described twofold: growing momentum of an industry still less than two years old and a time of year that attracts Indiana sports fans.
January included college basketball, Indiana’s defining sport, the NBA hitting its stride, and NFL playoff games.
Adding to that was the attention paid to local teams.
The Colts joined the playoff party, traveling to Buffalo for a heartbreaking 27-24 Wild Card loss. The Pacers played 16 games. Indiana University, Purdue, Butler, and Notre Dame each embarked on the midpoints of their 2020-2021 seasons.
Indiana’s personality is shown in the handle breakdown, with basketball garnering $133.1 million in handle and football raising $77.6 million.
Parlay betting, meanwhile, raised the second-highest amount, at $86.1 million, with “other,” including hockey, raising $50.3 million.
Big names continue to dominate Hoosier attention
Sportsbooks became eager to launch in Indiana once its propensity for sports betting became clear.
The state has since legalization welcomed 10 sportsbooks to its online betting scene, with more on the way.
But the spots at the top?
Those remain reserved for the books with the highest name recognition and biggest advertising budgets.
Think about the commercials you see on TV. They’re a pretty good indication for the January handle breakdown of Indiana’s most popular sportsbooks:
- DraftKings: $122.5 million
- FanDuel: $89.2 million
- BetMGM: $52.4 million
- PointsBet: $13.4 million
- BetRivers: $9 million
- William Hill: $5.1 million
At the bottom of the pile are theScore Bet ($2.2 million), Unibet ($1.5 million), Caesars ($677K), and BetAmerica (now TwinSpires) ($171K).
Don’t expect that breakdown to change until a book with the financial stature, fan backing, and name recognition of Barstool Sportsbook launches its app in Indiana.
While that hasn’t yet happened, Barstool and Penn National Gaming have already proven their merit in the world of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
In January, Penn’s Ameristar East Chicago and Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg garnered just under $23 million in handle, helped by both the Barstool brand and geography.
They were the top two retail sportsbooks in the state.
Barstool, meanwhile, is expected to launch an app in Indiana this year and will at once become one of the most closely-watched books in the state.
What is the future for sports betting in Indiana?
An immediate drop-off is unlikely.
February will include Super Bowl betting and an abundance of basketball wagers. It will almost surely be the sixth straight record-breaking month.
March, with college basketball’s Madness, won’t be far behind.
More sportsbooks, including WynnBet, 888Sport, and SBK, are expected to launch in the coming months. The state’s only tribal casino hopes to soon welcome sports betting.
Comfort with the industry continues to grow for Hoosiers, especially as commercials and betting analysis flood cable television.
Such factors have put Indiana on pace for more than $4.1 billion in handle in 2021.
But will that number be reached?
A summer swoon is likely as the NBA wraps up its season and the NFL and NCAAB enjoy their offseasons. Not to mention the shrinking number of potential new customers as Hoosier adults once skeptical of the industry continue to join.
That said, Indiana has only reasons to celebrate.
Sports betting has proven itself to be a money-maker during a time of shrinking government and casino revenues.
And the money faucet is here to stay.