Indiana Bounces Back From February Slump Whilst Illinois Show Promise

Indiana rebounded from its February slump, which included a five-month stretch of wagering highs, by using the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which was held entirely in Indiana, to set a new record for wagering number.

In March, the state received $316.7 million in wagers, up from $273.9 million a month ago. Just January’s high of $348.2 million surpassed the month’s totals, bringing Indiana’s total handle to $3.1 billion.

Sportsbooks made $26.4 million in revenue, up 55.4 percent from $17 million in February and only surpassed the $29.3 million set in January. State taxes totaled $2.5 million in March.

March’s handle was up 323.3 percent year on year from $74.8 million in the same period in 2020, a month marred by the pandemic-related suspension of major US sports.

Unique experience for Indiana

Jessica Welman, lead analyst at PlayIndiana said: “We expect to see high volume across most legal US markets in March, but Indiana’s circumstances were unique with March Madness played entirely in Indiana.

“It’s hard to know just how much it moved the needle, but March’s results were clearly fuelled by a huge volume of NCAA Tournament games all in one place and by a number of fans who travelled to Indiana and then bet legally as they attended games. We may never see a betting event quite like that ever again.”

However, Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois has restored in-person enrolment for the state’s online sportsbooks, which may provide an additional boost going forward. According to experts, this decision could make crossing the border from the Chicago area more appealing.

Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana said: “Indiana has always been a market that has capitalised on large markets just across its borders. 

“Illinois’ decision could modestly move the needle, especially for the Chicago-area casinos that have always counted on out-of-state bettors as a significant portion of their customer base.”

With $111.2 million in online bets, DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led the state’s operators, up from $107.4 million in February and responsible for 39.8 percent of the state’s online handle. The month brought in $8.5 million in revenue, up from $3.7 million in January. With $92.4 million in bets, FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino came in second, up from $70.9 million in February.

Retail sportsbooks took in $37.5 million in bets in March, up from $32.9 million in February. With $10.8 million in bets, Hollywood Lawrenceburg was the industry leader.