Indiana Sports Betting Market Shows Resiliency Through Slow Season

May showed some resilience in Indiana’s sports betting handle.

Throughout the month, the state accumulated wagers worth $254 million, an increase from April’s $236 million.

A handful of major sporting events, such as the NBA Playoffs and the Indianapolis 500, was responsible for that small bump.

The launch of new sportsbooks also contributed to some market growth.

Last month, both Barstool Sportsbook and Betway made their debut in Indiana.

Sports betting handle in Indiana, May 2021

In May, approximately $254 million bets generated nearly $1.8 million in taxes for Indiana and roughly $19 million in revenue for the sportsbooks.

Here’s an examination of the origin of the state’s handle:

Licensee Online Brand(s) Total Handle Online Handle Retail Handle Revenue State Tax
Ameristar East Chicago DraftKings | theScore Bet $89,174,818 $84,792,062 $4,382,756 $4,605,331 $437,506
Blue Chip FanDuel $80,000,077 $79,295,853 $704,224 $7,673,122 $728,947
Belterra BetMGM | Betway $29,788,164 $29,304,760 $447,404 $2,562,430 $243,431
Hollywood Lawrenceburg PointsBet | Barstool $26,084,407 $17,632,903 $8,451,505 $2,013,013 $191,236
Tropicana Evansville William Hill $8,941,195 $8,238,867 $702,328 $207,082 $19,673
French Lick BetRivers $6,950,173 $6,825,909 $124,264 $458,187 $43,528
Horseshoe Hammond Caesars | Unibet $4,354,210 $1,311,791 $3,042,419 $329,182 $31,272
Harrah’s Hoosier Park $3,741,071 $0 $3,741,071 $388,667 $36,923
Indiana Grand $3,072,921 $0 $3,072,921 $410,227 $38,972
Caesars Southern Indiana $1,270,882 $0 $1,270,882 $122,159 $11,605
Rising Star TwinSpires | WynnBet $1,067,307 $989,986 $77,322 $83,792 $7,960
Total $254,445,226 $228,392,131 $26,017,096 $18,853,192 $1,791,053

Indiana benefits from various betting options.

After the NFL season and March Madness conclude, most sports betting markets witness a decrease in handle.

Indiana is no different.

The state’s handle has dropped nearly 20% from its March high of $316 million.

While the spring and summer months are usually less active, Indiana holds several advantages over other states in terms of sports betting.

Indy 500 wagers stimulate handle

The Indy 500 is, first and foremost.

The extra traffic brought by this event unique to Indiana benefits the state’s sports betting market.

Whether it’s fans who are visiting and placing bets, or Hoosiers wagering on the race from their homes, the event appears to generate additional interest in gambling.

The monthly Indiana sports betting revenue reports categorize IndyCar’s numbers under the “other” section.

This category encompasses all that is not football, basketball, baseball, or a parlay.

This renders it impossible to precisely determine the amount of money that gamblers bet on the major race.

Nevertheless, we can still observe the alteration in the numbers of that “other” section.

In April, the category had accumulated wagers worth $50.4 million. By May, this figure had increased to $51.5 million.

Due to the pandemic, The 500 occurred in August last year.

The “other” category in August 2020 saw an increase of approximately $3 million from the previous month.

This year, the increase was smaller at $1.1 million, which might be attributed to less gambling on golf and other comparable sports.

Once more, it’s impossible to determine exactly how much of that “other” handle originated from the Indy 500, but it’s highly likely that this major racing event contributed significantly to the movement.

Pacers and NBA Playoffs boost basketball handle

The 500 may have boosted Indiana’s reputation, but basketball remains the dominant sport in the Hoosier State.

Throughout May, the sport accumulated wagers worth $82 million.

Over 32% of the state’s entire handle was accounted for by hoops hysteria.

Here’s a brief summary of the most frequently betted sports during May:

  1. Basketball: $82.3 million
  2. Baseball: $50.5 million
  3. Parlay: $62 million
  4. Other: $51.5 million
  5. Football: $1.4 million

Betting on the NBA Playoffs fueled the popularity of basketball.

The Indiana Pacers failed to make it into the postseason, however, their play-in tournament game probably led to an increase in betting volume for the state.

The playoffs are scheduled to occur throughout July, potentially providing a smooth transition into Olympic betting later in the summer.

Indiana welcomes new sports betting apps

New online sportsbook launches, along with sporting events, contributed to the increase in Indiana’s May handle.

Every new betting app that launches in the state makes the state’s market increasingly competitive.

The entry of Betway and Barstool has increased the total number of active online sportsbooks in Indiana to twelve.

Barstool Sportsbook launches in Indiana

The highly-anticipated debut of Barstool Sportsbook occurred on May 18.

The betting app only had two weeks to become operational since it was launched in the middle of the month.

Even so, Barstool managed to accumulate wagers valued at $6.3 million during that period. This resulted in revenue amounting to $267,000 for the company.

Before Barstool entered the scene, WynnBET was the latest sportsbook to launch in Indiana.

In its first full month, WynnBet generated a handle of $400,000 and revenue of $47,000.

To put it differently, Barstool significantly exceeded WynnBet’s figures in just half the time after its launch.

Barstool’s notoriety certainly enhances its sportsbook popularity, demonstrating the power of brand recognition.

The sportsbook has begun impressively, yet it still has a considerable journey ahead before it can compete with the market frontrunners.

Betway caps off May Indiana sports betting

The launch of Betway on May 28 concluded the sports betting schedule for the month in Indiana.

Last month, Hoosiers placed a $250 bet with the sportsbook.

We will not have a clear understanding of the company’s debut performance until the next revenue numbers arrive, due to the app only being available for a few days. The forthcoming data set will be released by Indiana on July 12.

The arrival of new sportsbooks in Indiana provides Hoosiers with more gambling options than they’ve ever had.

Betway may be the latest sportsbook to arrive in Indiana this year, but it certainly won’t be the final one.

The following sportsbooks are already en route to the state:

  • SBK Sportsbook
  • 888Sport
  • fubo Sportsbook
  • MaximBet
  • PlayUp

FanDuel leads in sportsbook revenue in Indiana

This year, FanDuel has been the top-performing sportsbook in Indiana.

Since the beginning of 2021, the company has accumulated nearly $25 million in revenue.

FanDuel holds a minor advantage over DraftKings, which has generated approximately $21 million this year.

Despite DraftKings dominating the overall handle in the state, FanDuel is leading in revenue.

So far this year, Hoosiers have bet over $500 million with DraftKings.

This is significantly more than FanDuel’s 2021 handle, which is currently around $400 million.

While DraftKings is receiving more wagers, FanDuel is generating more revenue. This is a trend that should be monitored in the following months.

Another significant change in the state’s market is the powerful debut of Barstool.

Despite being available only for half of May, the sportsbook still managed to generate a handle of $6.3 million. This has made Barstool the seventh most popular betting app in Indiana.

If the company had been operating for a full month in Indiana, its handle was projected to surpass $12 million.

If bets worth $12 million had been placed, Barstool would have been the fourth most popular sportsbook in the state, following DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.

After a full month of betting, it appears that Barstool will be taking that position once the figures for June are made public.

But how much time will pass before the company secures a position on the sports betting podium?

Since BetMGM’s handle in May was approximately $29 million, it will still be significantly ahead of Barstool’s potential $12 million earnings.

Barstool may not be a leading player in the market yet, but it is well-positioned to quickly surpass most of its competitors in Indiana.

Sports betting in Indiana is here for the long haul.

The arrival of new operators demonstrates that the market in Indiana is still expanding.

Though the summer months may result in a reduced overall betting handle, the introduction of these new options could potentially generate record-breaking numbers once the upcoming football season commences.

Despite the future prospects, the $254 million handle in May demonstrates the durability of Indiana’s market.

Michigan has developed a substantial industry since it entered the sports betting scene last year. Illinois now ranks as the second largest market in the entire nation.

Despite the increasing competition nearby, Indiana is maintaining its position.

Having accumulated over $3.5 billion in wagers since 2019, sports betting in Indiana is here for the long-term.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza serves as a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media, with a specialization in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Before his current role, he worked as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams including the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Indiana Pacers. His current position is Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, having previously worked with brands like PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. Garza has been providing coverage for the gambling industry since 2019. He collaborates with a team of journalists to deliver extensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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