The Super Bowl helped push Indiana‘s retail and online sportsbooks to another monthly record in February according to analysts PlayIndiana.com. And with March Madness ahead and new online casinos launching, Indiana is positioned to withstand new competition arising from the launch of retail sports betting in neighboring Michigan and Illinois.
February handle hit $187.2m, up 9.6% from a then-record $170.8m handle generated in January. February also produced $11.1m in adjusted gross revenue, down 15.9% from $12.9m, yielding $1.1m in state taxes.
Bettors placed $11.6m in bets on football, almost entirely on the Super Bowl. And basketball generated $90.2m.
“Indiana’s market continues to mature, including the launch of more online sportsbooks, even as the football season ends,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “The state has a near-perfect storm of success and will continue to be among the shining stars in legal sports betting even as neighboring states move to legalize sports betting.”
Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com, added: “The Super Bowl was the single most significant event in February, but Indiana has done exceptionally well with basketball. That balance is helping Indiana avoid a post-football slump, which is common in jurisdictions such as Nevada.”
Indiana’s market advantages, most notably its ability to attract out-of-state bettors, have continued to hold, too. None of its neighboring states have launched legal online sports betting yet. And, because Indiana does not require in-person registration for mobile users, the Hoosier State can easily capitalize by allowing out-of-state bettors to simply cross the state line.
Indiana will remain a friendly neighbor for sports bettors for the foreseeable future. Illinois and Michigan have legalized sports betting, each launching retail betting this week. That will have some impact, but it should be blunted without an online component in either state. And progress toward legalizing sports betting has stalled in both Kentucky and Ohio.
“Indiana’s relationship with out-of-state bettors takes many forms, ranging from those who cross the border to make bets at nearby land-based sportsbooks to those who hop over the state border in cars and place bets by phone,” Welman said. “Indiana’s sportsbooks have been aggressive in attracting that business, of course. It won’t last forever, but Indiana should enjoy the advantage while it’s there.”
Online sportsbooks generated $145.9m in bets in February, or 77.9% of the state’s handle. And more sportsbooks came online with the February 25 launch of BetMGM and the March 5 unveiling of PointsBet/Hollywood Lawrenceburg.
In February, DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led the online market with $74.1m in bets, up from $66m in January. That generated $5.7m in gross receipts. But FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino continued to gain ground on its rival, tallying a $63.8m handle in February, up from $49.5m.
Horseshoe Hammond led the retail market with a $12.4m handle, down from $13.7m in January, outpacing Hollywood Lawrenceburg ($6.8m) and Ameristar Casino ($5.9m).
“The successful partnership between DraftKings and Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, which generates the largest combined online and retail handle, crystalizes Indiana’s market advantages,” Welman noted. “The DraftKings app was first to the market, and its ease of use has kept it on top. Meanwhile, Ameristar continues to draw heavily from the Chicago market.”