March represented the second-strongest month for sports betting handle in Indiana since its inception in 2019, thanks in large part to March Madness.
Not only were Hoosiers engaged with the tournament, but each game was held inside Indiana, supplying thousands of out-of-state visitors.
This provided the state’s online sportsbooks with unique exposure to an atypically large pool of bettors, helping spike betting totals.
For some, the betting was an opportunity still unavailable in their home state. For others, it was a continuation of an existing habit.
But whatever the motivation, it meant another strong month inside one of the country’s preeminent sports betting states.
March brings Indiana betting handle back
An expected betting dip in February, with just one football game and a short calendar, brought an end to seven-straight months of handle growth in Indiana.
But, again, unsurprisingly, March’s figures have put the state back on track.
Figures released by the Indiana Gaming Commission show the state generated $316.7 million in handle and $26.3 million in revenue. It created $2.5 million in taxes.
It was across all three spectrums the second-best month for sports betting in Indiana. The only month to do better was January, which included a full slate of NFL playoff games and the College Football Playoff.
January even held the previous record for basketball wagers in a single month, at $133 million.
But in March that record was shattered with the help of both the NCAA and Big Ten basketball tournaments, each hosted by Hoosiers:
- Basketball: $160.7 million in handle
- Parlay: $77.5 million
- Other (hockey, etc.): $62.5 million
- Football: $13.5 million
- Baseball: $1.2 million
In conjunction, here is the breakdown of the top six mobile sportsbooks in Indiana last month:
- DraftKings: $111.2 million
- FanDuel: $91.2 million
- BetMGM: $39.4 million
- PointsBet: $13.1 million
- William Hill: $9.5 million
- BetRivers: $9.1 million
The rest of the pack included theScore Bet ($3 million), Unibet ($2.1 million), Caesars ($229K), and BetAmerica ($76K).
April an unpredictable month for Indiana sportsbooks
It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that April’s betting totals likely won’t be as strong as those tallied in March.
That said, it is hard to forecast exactly how well sportsbooks will do.
April 2020 was ravaged by COVID-19, including delays of both the NBA and MLB seasons. The state garnered just $26.3 million in handle a year ago, failing to provide a realistic layout for how Indiana can be expected to perform this month.
How engaged will Hoosiers be with the start of a regular 162-game MLB season?
How interested are they in the dog days of the NBA season, especially with an uninspiring Pacers team currently situated outside the Eastern Conference’s playoff picture?
And how much did they bet on the Masters, with its nearly non-existent final round drama?
Answers to those questions will tell the story of April betting in Indiana.
Another interesting storyline to watch is the introduction of new sportsbooks.
One sportsbook, WynnBET, has already launched this month, while another, SBK, is nearing its own launch.
Both Wynn and SBK have tough roads ahead as they attempt to break into a crowded Indiana sportsbook field, filled with bettors already loyal to existing books.
Adding to that difficulty is the possibility that the popular, high-name-recognition Barstool Sportsbook could soon join the fray.
Barstool has the best chance to break into the top half of Indiana sportsbooks, considering its extensive fan base and brand loyalty.
But even for Barstool, usurping top dogs like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM is a pipe dream. A more realistic goal will be for Barstool to lead the state’s second tier, competing with books like William Hill, PointsBet, and BetRivers.
Regardless, the interest in the Hoosier market and continued increase of competition bodes well for the future of sports betting in Indiana.