Indiana Sports Betting Market Looks To March Madness For Revenue Drive

Analysts blamed a lacklustre Super Bowl for Indiana’s five-month run of wagering milestones ending in February, with handle just under $275 million.

The upcoming March Madness NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which will be held entirely in Indiana, presents new promise.

Shining star

Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com said: “Indiana remains a shining star among legal sports betting markets, even with a disappointing Super Bowl.

“It is eye-popping to see a pullback, especially considering February marked the first full month of online sports betting in Michigan. 

“But the market has continued to expand in spite of increased competition from Illinois, so this is likely a momentary blip explained most easily by the uniqueness of Indiana’s market.”

February wagers totaled $273.9 million, up 46.3 percent from $187.2 million the previous year but down from January’s high $348.2 million.

Adjusted total operator income dropped to $17 million in February, yielding $1.6 million in state taxes, down from $29.3 million in January. GOR rose by 52.9 percent from $11.1 million in February 2020.

Online betting produced $241 million, accounting for 88.4 percent of the state’s total handle, up from 85.1 percent in January.

With $107.4 million in online betting and $3.7 million in gross receipts, DraftKings/Ameristar Casino took the lead. The $70.9 million managed by FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino resulted in a market-leading $5 million in gross receipts.

Retail sportsbooks brought in $32.9 million in bets in February 2020, down from $41.3 million in February 2019. With $13.4 million in wagers, Hollywood Lawrenceburg, near Cincinnati, led retailers.

Important markets

Welman said: “Cincinnati and Louisville remain important markets, and Chicago is still vital to Indiana’s retail outlets nearest the Windy City.

“Indiana is more than capable of standing on its own, but out-of-state bettors still drive significant revenue even as Michigan and Illinois have grown into major markets with online and retail sportsbooks.”