Indiana Sports Betting On Hot Streak With Five Straight Months Of Record Handle

Hoosiers bet over $348 million on sports throughout January.

Indiana is officially on a hot streak. The last five months have all generated record handles for the state.

That continued growth is impressive considering the increasing levels of competition nearby. Neighboring Illinois has had sports betting for months, and even Michigan is in on the fun now.

The overlap of basketball season and the NFL Playoffs made a huge impact on January’s numbers.

Indiana’s January 2021 sports betting handle

January’s handle produced over $29 million worth of revenue for sportsbooks, and over $2.8 million in taxes for the state of Indiana.

Here’s a look at where that January handle came from:

Licensee Online Brand(s) Total Handle Online Handle Retail Handle Revenue State Tax
Ameristar DraftKings | theScore Bet $134,411,121 $124,804,469 $9,606,652 $10,734,942 $1,019,819
Blue Chip FanDuel $90,550,502 $89,240,067 $1,310,435 $6,159,428 $585,146
Belterra BetMGM $57,017,119 $52,423,923 $4,593,197 $5,010,400 $475,988
Hollywood Lawrenceburg PointsBet $26,836,024 $13,456,598 $13,379,426 $3,210,072 $304,957
French Lick BetRivers $9,839,725 $9,038,825 $800,900 $884,002 $83,980
Horseshoe Hammond Caesars | Unibet $9,630,461 $2,233,308 $7,397,153 $927,381 $88,101
Tropicana Evansville William Hill $7,249,670 $5,136,765 $2,112,905 $760,051 $72,205
Indiana Grand $4,847,618 $0 $4,847,618 $812,954 $77,231
Harrah’s $4,634,872 $0 $4,634,872 $703,018 $66,787
Caesars Southern Indiana $2,949,142 $0 $2,949,142 $276,803 $26,296
Rising Star BetAmerica $278,422 $171,253 $107,169 $26,427 $2,511
Total $348,244,676 $296,505,207 $51,739,469 $29,505,479 $2,803,021

Goodbye football, hello basketball

Hoosiers love basketball. That’s nothing new, but it is an important factor when it comes to the state’s handle.

Basketball moves the sports betting needle a lot more in Indiana than it typically does in other states.

Gamblers bet $113 million on football in November, which dwarfed basketball’s $17 million haul.

That gap shrunk significantly in December. Hoosiers wagered $101 million on football, with basketball’s numbers shooting up to nearly $90 million.

In other words, Indiana’s basketball numbers skyrocketed by 408% from November-December. That kind of large increase is normal when a new basketball season is just beginning.

Even New Jersey, the biggest sports betting market in the country, only saw basketball’s handle shoot up about 187% during that same timeframe.

Basketball officially took the wheel in Indiana during January. The sport’s $133 million handle easily topped football’s $77 million mark.

January was the first full month of NBA games, with college basketball also getting into the meat of its schedule. That combination led to the sport’s rise in betting popularity.

Football’s reign is over until next fall. The Super Bowl is a huge betting event, but it won’t be enough on its own to carry the sport’s handle in February.

America’s favorite sport might be gone for now, but at least the overlap of the NFL Playoffs and basketball season led to a strong month for Indiana’s numbers.

January is typically a flat month when it comes to sports betting growth around the country, so Indiana’s progress is impressive.

Barstool Sportsbooks dominate Indiana retail sports betting

Penn National Gaming continues to dominate retail sports betting in Indiana.

The company owns Ameristar East Chicago and Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg. Both are routinely the most popular casinos for in-person sports betting in the state.

The duo recently adopted Barstool’s branding for their retail sportsbooks. It’s been full steam ahead at both locations since then.

Ameristar’s handle grew 35% in the first four weeks alone after the rebrand.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg has one of the most popular retail sportsbooks in the entire country. The casino benefits from its proximity to Cincinnati, since you can’t legally bet on sports in Ohio yet.

Penn’s Indiana casino duo racked up a hefty $23 million handle in January alone.

Barstool’s retail sportsbooks have already made a huge splash in Indiana’s market, and the online version of the sportsbook isn’t even available yet.

Barstool Sportsbook took in over $30 million in wagers during its first month of business in Pennsylvania alone. Within a few months, that handle more than doubled to nearly $72 million.

A similar showing in Indiana would make Barstool the state’s third-most popular sportsbook, trailing only DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings racked up $122 million worth of wagers in January, with FanDuel in second place at $89 million.

Barstool Sportsbook recently launched in Michigan, and will be making its way to Illinois in time for March Madness. The company’s Indiana debut will happen sometime in 2021.

Indiana off to a hot start in 2021

Indiana certainly got off on the right foot to start the year.

It’s $348 million handle has the state on track for another big year of growth.

2020 was Indiana’s first full year of sports betting. During that time, Hoosiers bet over $1.7 billion on sports.

2021 is on pace for that growth to continue snowballing.

If the Hoosier State keeps this up, it could potentially be looking at a $3 billion handle for the year when the dust settles. That could end up translating to over $200 million worth of revenue for sportsbooks, and over $20 million in taxes for the state.

Future of Indiana sports betting and gambling

2021 could be a huge year of growth for Indiana’s gambling industry.

The sports betting side of the business will continue to develop.

Six new online sportsbooks opened for business in Indiana during 2020. New operators are already on pace for a 2021 launch, including:

That’s a great start, but online sports betting is only one piece of the pie.

Retail betting could be on the rise, especially during the later parts of the year. As COVID vaccines become more widely available in Indiana, it could potentially lead to an upswing in the number of gamblers willing to make the trip to their local casino.

Indiana’s only tribal casino is on track to add sports betting and table games this year. Adding one more casino to the mix will increase the state’s overall gaming revenue.

Toss in a bill to legalize online casinos plus a push to add video gaming terminals, and Indiana’s gambling industry could be on the cusp of some major changes this year.

If January’s $348 million sports betting handle is any indication of the future, then 2021 could be a year to remember for Indiana gambling.

Photo by Associated Press
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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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