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US – Indiana sportsbooks surpass $100m in bets in November

By - 12 December 2019

Indiana’s online and retail sportsbooks easily surpassed $100m in bets in a month for the first time, as online betting continued to rapidly gain traction in the state during a bustling November, according to analysts for PlayIndiana.com.

“Once online betting begins, the market grows exponentially,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Bettors overwhelmingly prefer the convenience and safety of online sportsbooks, and the addition of DraftKings and FanDuel in October was like adding rocket fuel to Indiana’s sports betting industry. That is a pattern we have seen in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, in addition to other smaller legal jurisdictions.”

With out-of-state bettors continuing to pour into Indiana, the state’s retail and online sportsbooks generated a combined $147.3m in bets in November, up 61 per cent from $91.7m in October, according to the official report released Tuesday. November’s handle produced $9.3m in adjusted gross revenue, down 19 per cent from $11.5m in October. The “win” yielded $883,361 in tax revenue for the state.

Not surprisingly with three online sportsbooks operating for all of November, online betting is taking on a rapidly increasing role. DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers Online combined to generate 65% of the state’s handle — a total of $96.2m in digital bets — which was up from 52 per cent in October. And that percentage should continue to grow as more online sportsbooks come online in the coming months.

Operating under the Ameristar Casino license, DraftKings led the online market in November with a $64.1m handle, up from $39.4m in October. FanDuel, operating under the Blue Chip Casino license, grew to $23.7m, up from $2.4m. BetRivers, operating under the French Lick license, was third with $8.4m, up from $6.3m.

“We expect that at least 75 per cent of Indiana’s handle will eventually come from online sportsbooks, and that threshold should be met within months,” Mr. Gouker said. “Another question is who becomes the dominant online operator in Indiana. Right now DraftKings has a leg up, in part because it’s a familiar brand and because the Ameristar Casino’s close proximity to Chicago. We expect FanDuel to make a run at DraftKings, but it will have to be superior in brand, database, and marketing to overtake them.”

The importance of market proximity to Chicago can be seen most clearly in Indiana’s retail market. Three of the top five retail sportsbooks are based in casinos near Chicago. In addition, football remains king, accounting for 40% of all November bets in Indiana. And the top six retail sportsbooks are near cities with NFL franchises, including Indianapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati.

Horseshoe Casino – Hammond, near Chicago, topped the Indiana market again with a $13m November handle, up from $10.7m. Those bets generated $800,208 in gross receipts, which was down from $1.7m.

Horseshoe Hammond was followed by:

– Hollywood Casino- Lawrenceburg ($8.8m handle, up from $6.9m in October; $1.1m win, up from $800208)
– Ameristar East Chicago Casino ($8m handle, up from $6.8m in November; $735,103 win, up/down from $1m)
– Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino ($7m handle, up from $6.2m; $557,764 win, down from $974,467)
– Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa ($4.5m handle, down from $4.6m; $310,955 win, down from $741,048)
– Indiana Grand Racing & Casino ($4.2m handle, up from $3.8m; $171,205 win, down from $516,140)
– Tropicana Evansville ($2m handle, even with October; $174,841 win, down from $324,200)
– Caesars Southern Indiana ($1.4m handle, up from $1.2m; $106,081 win, down from $128,192)
– French Lick Resort ($1.2m handle, up from $791,706; $45,357 win, down from $73,745)
– Belterra Casino Resort ($920,344 handle, up from $812,130; $92,233 win, down from $150,692)

“Colts, Bears, and Bengals fans are clearly boosting the handle in nearby casinos during the NFL season,” Mr. Gouker said. “Those sportsbooks nearest Chicago will continue to have an advantage long after the NFL season ends, both in the retail and online markets.”

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