Inside INdiana Business

Indiana sports wagering hits new high in November

The Indiana Gaming Commission says the February 2021 handle for Indiana sports books dipped to $274 million, down 21% from January. (photo courtesy: IIB)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Driven by success on the gridiron by the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame, Indiana’s legal sports betting sector hit a new high in November.

Based on data from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the state’s handle measured more than $250 million in wagers.

Analysts say that is the first time the sportsbook has surpassed more than a quarter-billion dollars in Indiana.

“There really isn’t any substitute in sports betting for a local team doing well, and Indiana is enjoying three at once,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “A lot has gone right in recent months to get Indiana to this new high point, but considering the challenges, it has been an impressive string of months.”

The previous one-month high was in October when Indiana sportsbooks took in $230 million.

As far as the state’s coffers, wagering produced about $2.5 million in tax revenue.

While online sports betting saw large gains, in-person sports wagering is down. Retail sportsbooks took in $37.7 million in November wagers, down from $37.9 million in October.

“In November, we saw mobile wagers continue to outpace retail wagers as tighter Covid restrictions were put into place. This reiterates the importance of mobile betting, which made up 85% of the market last month, to the state’s economy,” said Max Bischel, vice president of U.S. business for Gambling.com Group.

Analysts say competition from Illinois’ online sportsbooks has been felt most in Indiana’s retail market.

“Chicago is still an important market for sportsbooks near the border, but the combination of Illinois’ sports-betting expansion and the pandemic has challenged the retail market,” said Jessica Welman of PlayIndiana.com. “As a whole, though, growth in online betting has more than made up for any slowdown in the retail market.

The gaming commission data shows overall casino revenue in November, separate from the sportsbook, measured nearly $134 million, down 1.9% from October.

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