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US – Indiana’s sports betting stats slump to lowest in a year in July

By - 13 August 2021

Indiana’s sportsbooks slowed to less than $200m for the first time in nearly a year, but volume was still enough to push the state’s lifetime handle past $4bn to $3bn of which has come over the last 12 months. July’s slowdown came during what is historically the month with the lowest sports betting volume in the US, a pattern that continued even as the NBA Finals and the first week of the Olympics gave this July an unusually busy sports calendar.

“Sports betting is ultimately for entertainment, and this time of year it can take a backseat to long weekends at the lake or summer barbecues,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIndiana.com. “With people traveling at an accelerated rate this summer, it appears that the trough is even more pronounced than usual. But July should be the low point, as bettors begin to return from their summer vacations in August and excitement builds for the upcoming football season.”

Online and retail sportsbooks took in $194.5m in bets in July, which is down 21 per cent from $246.3m in June, according to official reporting released Thursday.

Gross gaming revenue remained relatively strong in July with $17.2m, down 35.6 per cent from $26.7m, which equals an 8.9 per cent hold. Adjusted gross revenue came in at $17.5m, yielding $1.7m in state taxes.

Indiana’s results are in line with historical trends. Removing the pandemic-altered numbers produced in 2020, the lowest-volume month across the US in both 2018 and 2019 was July.

Baseball topped all sports with $63.5m in wagering, up from $60.5m in June. The NBA Finals fueled $26.8m in basketball betting in July, which was down from $77.1m in June. Basketball has generated $896.9m in bets so far this year, more than any sport by far, and had been the most bet-on sport in every month since December 2020.

“Indiana’s love of basketball has helped shield the state’s sportsbooks from some of the more pronounced seasonal dips experienced in other states, so a smaller volume of games in July was felt,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Betting interest on the Olympics appears to have been modest at best, and even with the NBA Finals being later than usual, it wasn’t enough to overcome fewer games being on the board.”

July’s wagering was enough to push Indiana past another significant milestone, becoming the state with the smallest population — other than Nevada — to reach $4bn in lifetime handle. Since sports betting launched in Indiana in September 2019, sportsbooks have generated $4.1bn in online and retail wagering, including $3bn since Aug. 2020, $334.6m in gross gaming revenue and $31.8m in state taxes.

“The market has changed significantly since launch, but from the beginning Indiana has punched above its weight class among US markets,” Welman said. “It remains a model market that states still considering the legalization of sports betting would be wise to emulate.”

Bettors made $174.6m in online wagers in July, accounting for 89.8 per cent of all bets made in the state. Retail betting accounted for the remaining $19.9m in July, down from $27.9m in June.

DraftKings held on to its market lead in July with $60.2m in online wagering, generating $4.7m in gross receipts. FanDuel closely trailed with $54.3m in July wagering, yielding a market-best $5.3m in gross receipts.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg — one of the highest-volume retail sportsbooks in the US — led retail books with $5.9m in wagers.

“Retail betting is still trying to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, and news of a fresh surge in the pandemic is the latest challenge for the industry,” Russo said. “Online sportsbooks will continue to flourish in the state, but it’s apparently going to continue to be a hard road for the retail side.”

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