Indiana sportsbooks handled more than $640m in October to shatter the state record for betting volume for the second consecutive month. The surge in betting brought on in part by the year’s first full month of football also made Indiana just the fifth state to reach $5bn in lifetime sports wagers, according to PlayIndiana, which tracks the state’s gaming industry.
Online and retail sportsbooks drew $461.1m in October, easily surpassing September’s record handle of $355.4m by 29.7%. October’s handle was also up 99.7% from $230.9m in October 2020. Bettors increased the pace of betting to $14.9m per day over the 31 days of October from $11.8m per day in September and $7.4m in October 2020.
Jake Garza, an analyst for PlayIndiana.com, explained: “Five full weekends of the NFL and college football, the opening of the NBA season, and baseball’s postseason gave sportsbooks a rare convergence of betting inventory in October.
“To surpass the previous record by so much shows an increasing base of bettors, too. It’s hard to imagine a better start to the football season than what has happened in the last two months.”
Despite the surge in betting, gross revenue fell 16.4% to $27.8m from the record of $33.3m set in September. Year-on-year, revenue was up 10.9% from $25.1m in October 2020. October’s win created $27.6m in taxable revenue, yielding $2.6m in state taxes.
With five weekends of games, football betting jumped 18.4% to $175.8m in October from $148.6m in September. The opening of the NBA season led to significant action, too, jumping to $53.5m in basketball betting from just $5.2m in September. Parlay betting also rose to $127.6m from $92m.
The record month pushed Indiana into some rarified air among legal sports jurisdictions, joining New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois as the only states to generate a handle of more than $450m in a month, more than $5bn in lifetime legal sports betting, and more than $400m in lifetime gross revenue.
Since launching in 2019, Indiana sportsbooks have generated $5.1 bn in wagering; $412.5m in gross revenue; and $78.3m in tax revenue
“No state has capitalized on its potential as a sports betting market better than Indiana,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIndiana.com. “As impressive as some of these records have been, it is also important to remember that Indiana as a market still hasn’t fully matured.”
Online betting drew $411.9m in wagers, or 89.3% of October’s total handle. DraftKings led online operators in October with a $150.7m handle, up from $130.4m handle in September. Last month’s bets created $7.8m in gross receipts, up from $7.2m in September. FanDuel was next with $113.3m in online wagering, up from $77.2m in September. Those bets produced a state-best $9.2m in gross receipts.
Retail sportsbooks accepted $49.2m in wagering in October, up from $35.3m in September. Hollywood Lawrenceburg easily led retail books with $15.6m in wagers, up from $11.5m in September. Ameristar East Chicago was second with a $6.8m handle, ahead of Harrah’s Hoosier Park ($6.1m), Horseshoe Hammond ($5.9m), and Indiana Grand ($5.8m).
At least three more online operators have plans to launch in the state before the end of the year: Bally Bet, Fubo, and SBK sportsbooks. That would give Indiana 15 licensees.
“New operators are still investing in Indiana, which is evidence that there is still significant upside in the state,” Garza said. “The environment has changed significantly over the last two years, but Indiana continues to flourish even as its larger neighbors adopt sports betting.”