Retail Betting Disappoints As Indiana’s June Handle Shrinks To $29 Million

In June, Indiana’s sports betting handle experienced a decrease.

In May, Indiana received over $37 million in wagers, which fell to $29 million in June.

June recorded the second-lowest monthly handle in Indiana’s history. The only month with a lower figure was April 2020, which had a haul of $26 million.

Sports betting figures for Indiana in June 2020

This is an analysis of the sports betting figures for Indiana in June 2020:

Licensee Online Brand(s) Total Handle Online Handle Retail Handle Gross Revenue State Tax
Ameristar East Chicago DraftKings $18,430,007 $18,239,086 $190,921 $1,540,429 $166,740
Blue Chip FanDuel $7,900,687 $7,867,516 $33,171 $795,707 $83,482
French Lick BetRivers $1,349,570 $1,336,452 $13,118 $157,735 $15,221
Belterra BetMGM $1,141,097 $1,124,010 $17,087 $120,335 $12,158
Hollywood Lawrenceburg PointsBet $844,344 $520,376 $323,968 -$2,470 $0
Horseshoe Hammond Caesars $54,946 $33,444 $21,502 -$27,186 $0
Rising Star BetAmerica $34,384 $28,212 $6,172 $962 $0
Tropicana Evansville $28,547 $0 $28,547 -$2,847 $0
Harrah’s Hoosier Park $0 $0 $0 -$4,725 $0
Indiana Grand $0 $0 $0 -$2,508 $0
Caesars Southern Indiana $0 $0 $0 -$31,629 $0
Total $29,783,582 $29,149,096 $634,486 $2,543,803 $277,600

Retail sports betting in Indiana falls short of expectations

After several months of not accepting any bets, Indiana’s casinos reopened on June 15.

At that time, the state’s sole source of gambling income was online sports betting.

Online casinos have compensated for the closures in other states, but Indiana, not having legalized them yet, lacks this safety net.

Despite casinos reopening, the expected surge in the state’s handle was not observed. Retail betting only contributed minimally, making up just $630,000, or 2%, of June’s total handle.

In June, a number of sportsbooks in Indiana reported a loss.

The house may have simply had a month of bad luck, but it could also indicate that gamblers have retained their winning tickets from the previous months. After all, if the casino where you made your bet is closed, you won’t be able to redeem your winning tickets.

Despite the reasons, the retail figures remain discouraging. A likely rebound is expected when the major sports leagues resume, but that is still several weeks away.

Hoosiers exhausted from wagering on obscure sports

The COVID-19 pandemic initially caused a predicted decline in Indiana’s sports betting handle.

Since that time, it has been gradually recovering month after month.

However, a significant slump in Indiana’s numbers began in June, probably as a result of a major decline in the amount of bets placed on lesser-known sports.

The “other” sports category, which includes anything not specifically itemized, has been the preferred category for betting in Indiana over the past few months.

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • A parlay

Hoosiers placed bets exceeding $30 million on those “other” sports in May. However, this figure significantly decreased to $20 million in June.

What led to the drop?

Table tennis betting is a significant reason for the dive.

Since the cessation of major sports leagues in mid-March, table tennis has become extremely popular for betting. The majority of these bets were being placed on games happening in Russia and Belarus.

Then, towards the end of May, the Indiana Gaming Commission prohibited wagering on one of Russia’s most popular leagues. This would inevitably lead to a decline in the popularity of table tennis gambling, as there would be fewer matches to place bets on.

Nonetheless, another probable cause for the decline could be betting fatigue.

Hoosiers might be growing weary of the limited options available, after months of wagering on lesser-known sports such as table tennis and Belarusian soccer.

Bettors might be holding onto their money until major sports leagues such as the NBA and MLB, return to play soon.

Bettors in Indiana are prepared for the comeback of NBA and MLB.

Indiana bettors will be thrilled to have familiar sports available for gambling again, as professional baseball and basketball are set to return this month.

In June, the betting amount for both sports significantly increased.

In May, a mere $9,900 was wagered on basketball by gamblers. However, in June, the number drastically soared to over $600,000.

Betting on baseball experienced a substantial increase, with Hoosiers wagering over $2 million in June. This was a significant jump from May’s figure of $950,000.

Even though the lesser-known sports are receiving less attention, the viewership for the major sports is finally beginning to recover.

The betting on baseball and basketball is expected to skyrocket in July, with the comeback of MLB and NBA.

Even though the figures for “other” sports will decrease in July, they will not vanish entirely.

This is due to the fact that the NHL is also resuming in July, and its betting figures are included in that “other” category. The main sports leagues will not be back until the end of the month, meaning less mainstream sports such as table tennis will continue to be a top betting choice for at least the first three weeks of July.

No matter the source of the funds, Indiana will undoubtedly be pleased to return to normal. As popular sports are finally making a comeback, it’s highly likely that June will be the final month that Indiana’s handle decreases.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is an American Gambling Industry Analyst with Catena Media, who focuses on Midwest sports betting and casino content. Before diving into the legal gambling sector, Garza was a professional sports writer, covering teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Indiana Pacers. He currently serves as the Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, having previously worked with other notable brands like PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. Garza has been reporting on the gambling industry since 2019 and collaborates with a team of journalists to deliver extensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling sector.

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