In April, Indiana’s sports betting industry saw another month-over-month fall, with wagering reaching its lowest level since October 2020. According to PlayIndiana, the predicted drop is indicative of the start of a traditional sports betting decline that will likely last until the start of football season.
In April, sportsbooks took in $236.4 million in wagers, down 25.4 percent from $316.7 million in March. This is the lowest monthly handle since October 2020, when sportsbooks took in $230.9 million.
The adjusted gross revenue from April’s bets was $20.1 million, down 23.8 percent from March’s $26.4 million. This resulted in $1.9 million in state taxes.
2020 sports schedule turned on its head
Jessica Welman, PlayIndiana’s lead analyst, explained: “Even a high volume of regular season baseball and NBA basketball games can’t make up for a calendar devoid of NFL and college football games, or a major betting event like the NCAA Tournament.
“Because the pandemic turned the 2020 sports schedule on its head, Indiana hasn’t really experienced a full year of normal sports betting activity. But there are normal seasonal ebbs and flows in sports betting, and this is the start of what is historically the slowest period of every year.”
In the first four months of the year, Indiana sportsbooks have taken in $1.2 billion in wagers. Despite a month-over-month drop in April, this year stands out in comparison to 2020. Online sportsbooks took in just $26.3 million in wagers in April 2020, the lowest point of the year, while retail outlets were entirely shut down as the sports world went silent.
Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana said: “This is the first time we get to see how Indiana will perform during the spring and summer months, and through one month Indiana is meeting expectations.
“With the Olympics ahead and the NBA Playoffs pushed back a month, this could actually be a better summer than in most years. And Indiana’s sportsbooks are well-positioned to take advantage.”
In March, online betting accounted for 88.4 percent of the state’s handle, or $209.1 million, up from 88.1 percent in March. The remaining $27.3 million in wagers came from retail sportsbooks, down from $37.5 million in March.
With $79.3 million in online bets, DraftKings once again led all online operators, down from $111.2 million in March. Gross receipts were $6.1 million, down from $8.5 million in March. With $67.1 million in bets, FanDuel came in second, down from $92.4 million in March. Gross receipts were $5.7 million, down from $6.8 million the previous year.
With $8.4 million in wagers, Hollywood Lawrenceburg, near Cincinnati, once again led the retail industry. With $5.2 million, Ameristar East Chicago came in second.
In April, the online market became more competitive. The first was the April 1 launch of WynnBET, followed by the April 1 launch of TwinSpires, just in time for the Kentucky Derby. Barstool is also getting ready to launch its app, which has been highly awaited.
“Even as the market approaches its second birthday, operators remain bullish on Indiana,” Russo said. “With two of the highest-volume retail sportsbooks in the state already, Barstool’s online app could really move the market. Fresh entries into the market will keep the largest operators in the state on their toes and vying for new customers.”