Can March Madness Set The Indiana Sports Betting Bar Higher Than Ever Before?

Indiana gamblers bet over $273 million on sports during February.

That handle was big step down from January’s $348 million showing.

Drops like that aren’t uncommon in February, since it’s a shorter month and there isn’t a ton of football action to help with the load.

As expected, basketball was the most popular sport for betting throughout the month. Basketball’s $127 million handle accounted for over 46% of Indiana’s total haul.

Indiana’s February 2021 sports betting handle

The vast majority of Indiana’s $273 million handle came from online sports betting.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where Hoosiers placed their bets throughout the month:

Licensee Online Brand(s) Total Handle Online Handle Retail Handle Revenue State Tax
Ameristar DraftKings | theScore Bet $114,951,758 $110,098,240 $4,853,518 $4,225,113 $401,386
Blue Chip FanDuel $71,544,562 $70,911,646 $632,915 $4,955,336 $470,757
Belterra BetMGM $33,639,852 $33,013,203 $626,649 $2,240,748 $212,871
Hollywood Lawrenceburg PointsBet $21,606,233 $11,322,078 $10,284,155 $2,161,900 $205,380
French Lick BetRivers $7,864,285 $7,470,268 $394,016 $539,843 $51,285
Tropicana Evansville William Hill $7,211,619 $5,633,525 $1,578,094 $561,271 $53,321
Horseshoe Hammond Caesars | Unibet $6,623,448 $2,478,041 $4,145,407 $936,406 $88,959
Harrah’s $4,036,965 $0 $4,036,965 $387,639 $36,826
Indiana Grand $3,828,570 $0 $3,828,570 $471,791 $44,820
Caesars Southern Indiana $2,370,098 $0 $2,370,098 $467,361 $44,399
Rising Star BetAmerica $215,683 $100,555 $115,128 $8,497 $807
Total $273,893,073 $241,027,556 $32,865,517 $16,955,904 $1,610,811

Sports betting handle takes a dip

Indiana’s numbers may have dropped since January, but that’s not a huge shock.

Football is the most popular sport for gambling in the US, and without the NFL or college football things were likely going to take a step back.

Overall, the amount of money wagered on football dropped by nearly $59 million in February.

However, Indiana is still growing year over year, even with the dip.

Hoosiers only wagered $187 million on sports during February 2020, so the $273 million in bets this year is still a nice increase.

Indiana Super Bowl handle

We finally have the last set of betting numbers from the 2020-2021 NFL season.

Hoosiers racked up $18 million worth of football wagers during February, which was up from last year’s $11 million haul during the same month.

Indiana doesn’t release specific betting numbers for events like the Super Bowl. That makes it impossible to know exactly how much money Hoosiers bet on the big game.

We might not have the precise numbers, but we can still come up with a decent estimate.

The Super Bowl was the only football game to bet on in February, which helps narrow down the list of possible sources for Indiana’s football handle.

A chunk of that $18 million handle was placed on futures bets for the next college football and NFL seasons, but that was likely a tiny portion of the money wagered.

The Super Bowl is a huge event for gambling, so it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of February’s football handle went towards betting on the game.

$20 million in sports betting tax revenue

February’s numbers put Indiana sports betting revenue over the hump for a new milestone.

Sports betting has officially created over $20 million in taxes for Indiana. That number has been slowly building up since betting began back in 2019.

The state’s cumulative sports betting tax total is now at $21.5 million.

Indiana takes 9.5% of the market’s adjusted gross revenue every month, which is one of the lowest rates in the country.

For the sake of comparison, neighboring Illinois taxes sportsbooks at 15%, and Michigan’s market collects taxes at a lower 8.4% rate.

Indiana and Michigan’s low tax rates help attract new operators, which in turn helps grow the markets of both states.

We’re already seeing the potential for future growth in Indiana since there are a ton of new sportsbooks on the way.

Crowded Indiana sports betting market

The list of new sportsbooks coming to Indiana keeps on growing.

Six new Indiana sports betting apps made their way to the Hoosier State in 2020.

William Hill was the most recent company to launch in the state, but that was back in October.

Indiana may have gone a handful of months without a new sportsbook launch, but that’s going to change in the near future.

2021 is already on pace to match last year’s number of new operators. All six of these sportsbooks plan to open for business in Indiana this year:

  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • WynnBET Sportsbook
  • 888sport
  • SBK Sportsbook
  • fubo Sportsbook

Indiana will have 16 different online sportsbooks when it’s all said and done. That huge selection will give Hoosiers plenty of different gambling options to pick from.

Indiana March Madness betting

Basketball betting is already the king of the hill in Indiana, but it’s about to receive a huge boost.

This year’s March Madness tournament will be the first one that you can bet on in Indiana. Hoosiers would have been able to bet on March Madness brackets last season if COVID-19 hadn’t canceled the event.

Since there are so many different games taking place throughout March Madness, the event’s handle will continue to snowball the longer it goes on.

Unfortunately, the numbers from March Madness will be in the same boat as the Super Bowl’s betting data.

Since Indiana doesn’t release betting information for specific events, we’ll never know exactly how much money gamblers are betting on the tournament this year.

Despite that, there should be a noticeable jump in basketball’s overall handle.

The fact that the entire tournament is taking place in Indiana should help things out.

Basketball fans from around the country travel for March Madness, and many of those fans will be betting on the games while they’re in Indiana.

Indiana’s basketball obsession, combined with traveling gamblers, could end up turning March’s sports betting handle into a new record for the state.

Photo by Dreamstime
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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