Indiana sportsbooks bounce back in May as retail begins to “show new life”

Indiana’s sports betting market has started to bounce back from April’s month-over-month decline, with the Hoosier State recording a 7.6% increase in handle during May.

Handle rose from $236.4 million in May 2020 to $254.4 million, however this still falls significantly short of the $316.7 million handle recorded in March. Analysts have suggested that the state will experience significantly higher betting volumes once the football season returns.

“Even with the expected slowdown over the last two months, no Midwestern state has held its ground better than Indiana,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana

“Some of that can be attributed to local events driving interest, including the Indy 500. But the market’s structural advantages that were built in before sports betting launched is also paying dividends.”

Throughout may, bets produced $18.9 million in adjusted gross revenue – a 6.1% fall from $20.1 million recorded in April. But despite the drop, wagers yielded $1.8 million in state taxes. In May 2020, online retail and sportsbooks generated just $3.2m in revenue on $37.3m in bets.

Online betting led the way for Indiana, accounting for 89.8% of the bets placed – equivalent to $228.4 million of the state’s handle. 

DraftKings narrowly held its grip on the online market lead with $81.8m in online bets, yielding $2.9 million in gross receipts. FanDuel was just behind with $79.3 m in bets and topped the market with $7.6m in gross receipts.

Penn National’s Barstool-branded online sportsbook launched on May 18, and produced $6.3 million in wagers, the sixth-highest betting volume among Indiana operators.

“Barstool is the most anticipated launch since the opening few months of the market, and for good reason,” noted Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.

“In states where Barstool operates, including Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan, Barstool has proven to be a market disruptor, even if it hasn’t overtaken the likes of FanDuel or DraftKings. May’s results are a small sample size, but there is enough to envision that a similar dynamic is building in Indiana.”

On the retail side, Hollywood Lawrenceburg, nearest to Cincinnati, led the market once again with $8.4 million in wagers, which remained even with the performance of one month earlier.

“The retail market is beginning to show new life as pandemic concerns wane,” Russo added. “Out-of-state bettors remain the lifeblood of the retail market. So long as Ohio and Kentucky resist legalising sports betting, and pandemic-related restrictions don’t return, retail sportsbooks should continue to return to health.”