Sports betting at Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks was back with a bang in July as the opening of baseball and the reopening of the NBA season sent betting activity soaring according to PlayIndiana.
With just eight days of major sports, sports bettors wagered $70.9m in July, up 137.9% from the $29.8m sportsbooks accepted in June and sending the state’s lifetime handle past $1bn.
“Indiana’s sportsbook operators have proven resilient in the face of a pandemic that completely upended the sports betting model, along with so much else,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayIndiana.com. “The industry is closing on a return to a more normal market that has the potential of a huge surge with a full month of baseball, basketball, and hockey and the potential return of football nearing.”
July’s handle was Indiana’s best since it posted $74.8m in March. July’s bets produced $6.7m in adjusted gross revenue, up 127.9% from $2.9m in May, and yielded $632,554 in tax revenue for the state.
Despite the jump, bets were still off by $90m from the expectations of an ordinary July, according to PlayIndiana estimates. Since March, Indiana’s sportsbooks have lost out on nearly $700m in wagers.
The days of subpar months should end in August, though. Assuming a full schedule of baseball, the NBA, and NHL – baseball hit $14.5m in July bets and basketball another $5.8m – bettors will have far more to draw their interest than in a typical August.
“If the leagues remain healthy, August could help sportsbooks make up some lost ground,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “But the industry is not out of the woods yet. College football and the NFL still have challenges to overcome, and a significant loss of the football calendar would be a huge hit to sportsbooks.”
The July rebound pushed lifetime wagers to $1.03bn since sports betting launched in the Hoosier State in October 2019, a milestone that should have been surpassed in spring.
Indiana’s sportsbooks have also tallied $84.9m in revenue and $8.1m in tax revenue since launch, putting more milestones in reach by the industry’s first birthday.
“Considering the obstacles Indiana’s sportsbooks have had to navigate, hitting the $1bn milestone in 10 months is impressive,” Welman said. “If major sports can continue, and football returns, it won’t be long before the state surpasses $2bn.”
Online betting remains the industry’s main driver. After generating 98% of June’s bets, the online market accounted for 91.1%, or $64.5m, of July’s handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino topped the online market again with $32.9m in bets, up from $18.2m in June. That produced $2.2m in gross receipts, up from $1.6m. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino followed with $24.2m in bets, up from $7.9m, resulting in a $1.1m win, up from $839,056.
Retail sportsbooks are off to an expectedly slow start after reopening in June, producing a $6.3m handle in July. Hollywood Lawrenceburg’s $2.7m handle, up from $323,968 in July, easily led the retail market.
“DraftKings and FanDuel have very noticeably ramped up their battle for online dominance with each pouring millions into advertising campaigns, as sports betting continues to move more online,” Gouker said. “Hollywood Lawrenceburg’s handle is impressive, but as long as the pandemic rages on, in-person betting will be diminished. But operators with robust online products should continue to thrive.”