Return of football sees Indiana sports betting revenue surge back to form in September

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Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks celebrated the return of football in September to generate a record-breaking $355.4m in wagers and $33.3m in revenue. The surge, according to analysts at PlayIndiana, is evidence of a new level of bettor enthusiasm, which could make any record short-lived.

Online and retail sportsbooks generated a record $355.4m in bets in September, edging the previous record of $348.2m. September’s handle was up 71.3% from $207.5m in September 2020 and up 64.8% from $215.6m in August, as bettors increased the pace of betting to $11.8m per day over the 30 days of September. That is up from $6.9m per day in September 2020 and $7m per day in August.

“Football remains king, even when the Colts get off to a slow start as they did in September,” said Nicole Russo, an analyst for “A busy schedule of Indiana, Notre Dame, and Purdue football certainly helped boost interest, too. The bottom line, though, is that the state’s industry continues to grow and mature and that will likely lead to even stronger months ahead as baseball’s postseason starts and the NBA returns.”

Gross gaming revenue reached $33.3m, topping the previous record of $31.7m set in January. September’s revenue was up 196.4% from $11.2m in September 2020 and up 99.4% from $16.7m in August. Taxable revenue landed at $33.9m in September, yielding $3.3m in state taxes.

Through the year’s first nine months, Indiana’s sportsbooks have combined to generate $2.4bn in wagering and $206.6m in gross gaming revenue, already easily surpassing the $136.4m in revenue on $1.8bn wagered in all of 2020.

“The bar has been set much higher for Indiana’s sports betting market, and could double the wagering from last year,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the Network, which includes “Indiana remains one of the five largest sports betting markets in the country, and the growth is showing few signs of letting up at this point. Sportsbooks should approach $4 billion in wagers for the year.”

September featured a full college football schedule and three full weekends of NFL football, and bettors made wagers in droves as a result. Football attracted $148.6m in wagering in September, which is a dramatic gain from the $48.4m wagered on football in September 2020. Interest in the Colts remained strong even as they started 0-3, and sportsbooks even got a boost with the surprising Cincinnati Bengals.

Baseball was a popular bet, too, drawing $52.9m in wagering in September. That is up from $30.5m in September 2020. 

“Sportsbooks have made a hard push to attract customers this fall,” Ramsey said. “We’re just starting to see the fruits of those promotions, but September’s wagering makes it clear that those efforts are already working to expand the overall customer base.”

Online betting produced $320.1m in wagers, 90.1% of September’s handle. DraftKings led online operators with a $130.4m handle in September, down from $74.2m in August. 

September’s bets produced $7.2m in gross receipts, up from $4.4m in August. FanDuel was again No 2 in the state with $77.2m in online wagering, up from $52.6m in August. Those bets produced a state-best $10.6m in gross receipts.

Meanwhile, operators used football as an opportunity to gain market share. That includes high-profile partnership deals between the Colts and Caesars and WynnBET.

“Operators use the increased interest in betting that inevitably comes with football season to increase brand awareness and eventually carve out market share,” Russo said. “With so many brands operating in Indiana, the competition for deals with other high-profile brands like the Colts are fierce, but they can help boost visibility.”

Retail sportsbooks took in $35.3m in wagering in September, up from $20.4m in August. Hollywood Lawrenceburg, nearest to Cincinnati and one of the highest-volume retail sportsbooks in the US, led retail books in Indiana with $11.5m in wagers, up from $5.6m in August. Ameristar East Chicago was second with $5m in bets, ahead of Horseshoe Hammond ($4.2m).