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US – Indiana sportsbooks enjoy impressive August

By - 13 September 2020

Indiana’s sports betting industry capped its tumultuous first year on a high note by posting one of its best months yet. With a full month of major sports, Indiana’s online and retail sportsbook generated $169m in wagers, seemingly keeping the state’s increasingly tenuous place as the fourth-largest legal market in the US, according to PlayIndiana.

“A rebound was inevitable with such an active sports schedule in August, but seeing such an active month is awfully welcome news for Indiana’s sports betting industry,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “August’s results are a clear signal that we are turning the page on its darkest days. The state’s status among legal jurisdictions is relatively safe for now. But Indiana also faces some headwinds, including increased competition in Illinois and Michigan.”

Indiana’s August handle was the state’s third-largest monthly total since the industry launched on 1 September 2019, and the largest since sportsbooks generated a record $187.2m in February, according to official reporting released Friday.

August’s bets produced $9.8m in adjusted gross revenue, up 47.7 per cent from July, and yielded $934,314 in tax revenue for the state.

Through the industry’s first 12 months, Indiana produced $1.2bn in wagers, $94.8m in adjusted gross revenue and $9m in state taxes.
Through those 12 months, Indiana trailed only Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in total wagers. But Indiana’s next 12 months will bring more challenges.

“This has been an eventful first year for Indiana sportsbooks, and increasing competition from neighbouring states and rapidly growing jurisdictions such as Colorado will continue to put pressure on Indiana’s status,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “An Illinois expansion of online betting could really affect Indiana. In that case, the state’s sportsbooks will have to be creative in attracting new bettors within the state to help blunt the loss of the Chicago market. And Indiana is still in position to capitalize on large markets in Ohio and Kentucky.”

The positive effect of a busy sports schedule in August was immediate. Basketball generated $55.2m in bets, the most of any sport in August.

“The positive attributes of Indiana’s market never went away while the sports world ground to a halt,” Mr. Gouker said. “Even as competition grows, Hoosier State sportsbooks will remain popular so long as the sports schedule stays active.”

Online betting generated 85.1%, or $143.9 million, of August’s handle. That is down from 91.1 per cent in July as retail sportsbooks continue to work to regain their footing.

DraftKings/Ameristar East Chicago remained the online market leader with $73.7m in bets, up from $32.9m in July. That produced $5.2m in gross receipts, up from $2.2 million July. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino followed with $50.1m in bets, up from $24.2m.

Retail sportsbooks picked up in August, generating a $25.1m handle in August. Hollywood Lawrenceburg’s $6.9m handle easily led the retail market.

“Even though Indiana’s industry is 1, it is still gaining maturity,” Welman said. “Online sportsbooks like BetIndiana and theScore Bet are expected to launch soon, and the growth of major players like PointsBet and BetMGM have been stunted because they launched just before the shutdown. The more sportsbooks that launch in the state, the higher the level of competition will become, and that will be good for bettors.”

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