Indiana Becomes 5th State To Skyrocket Past $300m In Bets

As the Hoosier State continues to work on legalising online casino gaming and poker, Indiana ended 2020 by being only the fifth state in US history to skyrocket past $300m in bets during a calendar month.

According to official reporting, the region’s sportsbooks took in $313.1 million in December, which is up 93.5 percent from $161.8 million year-on-year and shatters the previous record of $251.4 million set a month earlier.

This means that with four straight record months, more than $1.75bn in bets, and over $2bn in lifetime wagers, the jurisdiction ended the previous year.

Attracting significant wagering

Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com said: “Nothing could have recouped the revenue losses from the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and much of the baseball season.

“But a lot went right this fall for sportsbooks, and it was on full display in December. The Indianapolis Colts, Notre Dame and Indiana football all continued to attract significant wagering.

“Then a full month of college basketball, which is more important in Indiana than most anywhere else, and the start of the NBA season added a year-end boost. The strong finish made it so that 2020 represented a big leap forward despite all the challenges.”

In adjusted gross operator revenue, December wagers produced $24.1m, almost double the $12.1m set in December 2019. The bets for the month yielded $2.3m in state taxes.

Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks created $1.8 billion in bets for the year, including $1.5 billion in online wagering and $295.1 million in retail sportsbooks; $138.4 million in gross operator income; and $13.2 million in state taxes. Indiana’s sportsbooks have generated $2.2bn in wagers since launching in October 2019.

Sportsbooks creative in their perseverance

Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIndiana.com said: “The first full year of operation for Indiana’s sports betting industry was anything but normal, but ultimately it managed to steady itself and end the year on a roll.

“The state faced a pandemic that shuttered retail sportsbooks, a shutdown of major sports for four months, and a record-setting sports betting launch in neighbouring Illinois that siphoned off a key market for the state. But sportsbooks were creative in their perseverance, and it paid enormous dividends as the year went on.”

With DraftKings/Ameristar Casino leading the way with $112.7m in online bets and $5.1m in gross receipts, online betting generated 84 percent of the December handle, or $263.1m.

As Hollywood Lawrenceburg led the way with a $12m handle, retail sportsbooks generated $50m in wagers, down from $51.2m in December 2019.

iGaming and poker

In addition, the area also works to legalise igaming and poker, with online casinos praised as a “more predictable generator of revenue” than sports betting.

In Pennsylvania, in November, gamblers invested $2.2 billion on online casino games and poker, resulting in operator profits of $59.8 million, comfortably beating sports betting.

“The states where both are legal, online casinos games tend to dwarf sports betting in terms of both revenue and the money wagered,” Gouker added. 

“More is bet every month, and the win is more predictable with far fewer fluctuations from month to month. For a state like Indiana, such a dependable revenue source is unquestionably attractive.”