Inside INdiana Business

Indiana sports gambling hits new high in October

The Indiana Gaming Commission says the October 2020 "handle" for Indiana sports books reached $230 million, generating $2 million in tax revenue. (photo courtesy: IIB)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — With more routine NFL and college football schedules in place, Indiana’s legalized sports gambling industry returned to a more normal pace in terms of wagering.

The Indiana sportsbook measured $230 million last month, according to data from the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Gaming analysts say the sector saw new highs in revenue and handle as colleges and professional teams played a more normal sports schedule, despite the COVID-limits of fans in the stands.

“With a schedule that was more comparable to an ordinary October, Indiana’s sportsbooks fared well and offered a clearer read on where Indiana’s market stands,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Interest in the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana University, and Notre Dame is helping as the state transitions from a market that relies on Chicago to one that is more reliant on local bettors.”

The previous one-month high was $207 million, which was hit in September. Analysts say the October handle is up more than 150% from October 2019’s level of $92 million.

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The month’s revenue yielded $2 million in taxes in October.

“Indiana saw another record-breaking handle in October thanks to the NBA Finals, World Series and the return of Big Ten football happening simultaneously. October was a great month for sportsbooks who performed extremely well, meaning record-breaking revenue for the state,” said Max Bischel, group vice president of U.S. business for Gambling.com.

Online betting accounted for 84% of sports wagering with the reminder occurring at casinos. Bischel says overall October casino revenue in Indiana registered nearly $150 million, down 1.9% from September.

“While casinos haven’t quite returned to pre-pandemic numbers, sports betting taxes continue to climb,” said Bischel.

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