Inside INdiana Business

Sports betting sees another sharp drop in Indiana

The Indiana Gaming Commission says the August 2020 "handle" for Indiana sports books reached $169 million, generating $934,000 in tax revenue. (photo courtesy: IIB)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indiana sportsbooks last month generated their lowest monthly revenue total since sports betting began in Indiana last October. The state saw $26.3 million in sports wagers in April, a nearly 65% drop from the previous month.

The numbers come as Hoosier casinos remain closed due and most major sports leagues remain shut down to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for PlayIndiana.com, says the April results are shocking, but not surprising.

“Bettors have very few places to turn in Indiana,” said Gouker. “In some states, online casinos have driven significant revenue. But that isn’t possible in Indiana. So the industry’s results will continue to be grim until the sports world figures out a way to reopen.”

Indiana’s April wagers produced $5.5 million in adjusted gross revenue, which PlayIndiana says is essentially even with March. The state received more than $520,000 in tax revenue as a result.

Because the casinos were closed in mid-March, Indiana’s entire sports betting handle came from online sportsbooks, with DraftKings/Ameristar Casino in East Chicago leading with $13.6 million in bets, followed by FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City with $9.7 million.

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The website says Indiana did benefit from being the first state to allow betting on professional sports drafts, with the NFL and WNBA drafts taking place last month.

“The shut down of sports has led to some creativity by Indiana’s bookmakers, and that creativity was rewarded with interest in the NFL Draft,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Even though Indiana has missed out on some opportunities, regulators have at least been nimble enough to allow some unconventional ideas.”

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