Indiana sportsbooks finished around $145 million off previous estimates in June, but PlayIndiana analysts say the region’s confidence is still closer to average in the midst of a slowdown in global sports activity and current health crisis.
According to official reports, June’s handle was down 20.1 percent to $29.8 million from $37.3 million in May, but optimism could come from an upswing in futures betting, major near-horizon sports, and reopening retail casinos and sportsbooks.
June generated $2.9 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 8.1 percent from $3.2 million in May, and produced $277,601 in state tax revenue.
Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com explained: “June historically is a slow month for sports betting, but the return of major sports are huge for Indiana’s sportsbooks, obviously, and we already see the momentum with a boost in futures betting.
“A surge in betting should come as major sports move closer. In fact, with pent-up demand and truncated seasons that shorten the wait for a potential payout, futures betting could prove particularly enticing.”
Upon the reopening of casinos, June marked the start of retail sports betting but that generated $558,970 in-person handle wagers, the first since March. With $323,968 in handle, Lawrenceburg led the market in Hollywood.
Gouker added: “The reopening of the retail market is important not only because it means significant new revenue for operators, but it also signals that the gaming industry is on the mend.
“Many challenges lie ahead for the industry, and the revenue lost can’t instantly be replaced. But things are headed in the right direction.”
The online market accounted for June’s handle at 98 percent, or $29.1 m. DraftKings / Ameristar Casino led its online competitors in bets of $18.2 m, down from $20.1, in May, yielding $1.6 m in gross receipts, down from $1.8 m. FanDuel / Blue Chip Casino remained second in June, down from $12.3 with its $7.9 m handle.
After BetRivers opened the first electronic sportsbook in neighbouring Illinois last month, Indiana’s gaming market could be facing stiffer competition.
Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com added: “The Illinois launch of BetRivers could keep some Chicagoans at home, cutting off what has been a profitable market for Indiana.
“Indiana’s operators knew that day would come eventually, but it could slow down the near-term recovery for the state’s sports betting industry.”