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SPORTS BETTING

US – Indiana sports betting slumps to six-month low

By - 13 May 2021

Indiana’s sports betting industry experienced another month-over-month decline in April, as wagering dropped to its lowest level since October 2020. But in a state that has known little else but growth, the expected decline is indicative of the beginning of a typical sports betting slowdown period that will likely last until the beginning of football season.

“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,” said Jessica Welman, lead analyst at PlayIndiana. “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.”

Indiana sportsbooks collected $236.4m in wagers in April, according to official reporting released Wednesday. That is down 25.4 per cent from $316.7m in March and counts as the lowest monthly handle since sportsbooks generated a $230.9 million handle in October 2020.

April’s bets produced $20.1m in adjusted gross revenue, down 23.8 per cent from $26.4m in March. That yielded $1.9m in state taxes.

Indiana sportsbooks have already accepted $1.2bn in bets through the first four months of the year. Even with a month-over-month decline in April, this year stands in stark contrast to 2020. In what was the low point of the year, online sportsbooks took in just $26.3m in wagers in April 2020, while retail outlets were completely shuttered as the sports world went quiet.

“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,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana. “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.”

Online betting accounted for 88.4 per cent, or $209.1m, of the state’s handle, an increase from 88.1 per cent in March. Retail sportsbooks generated the remaining $27.3m in wagers, down from $37.5m in March.

DraftKings Sportsbook once again topped all online operators with $79.3m in online bets, down from $111.2m in March. That produced $6.1m in gross receipts, down from $8.5m in March. FanDuel was second with $67.1m in bets, down from $92.4m in March. That produced $5.7m in gross receipts, down from $6.8m.

Hollywood Casino – Lawrenceburg, nearest Cincinnati, led the retail market again with $8.4m in wagers. Ameristar East Chicago was second with $5.2m.

The online market also got more competitive in April. First with the launch of WynnBET on April 1, then later with the launch of TwinSpires just ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Barstool Sportsbook is also gearing up for the much-anticipated launch of its app.

“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.”

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