Indiana’s sports betting volume grew in August after college football and NFL preseason games gauged enough interest to increase the volume by nearly 11% from July, according to PlayIndiana, which tracks the state’s gaming industry.
The improvement to almost $216m in wagers is expected to be just a preview to what is likely to be a period of fresh growth for the Hoosier State sports betting industry this fall.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIndiana.com, commented: “Even a little bit of football can make a big difference in a month. The schedule was still relatively light compared to the fall, but it is a great sign that August brought a nice bounce in wagering.”
Indiana sportsbooks combined to draw $215.6m in August bets, up 27.6% from $169m in August 2020 and 10.9% better than July’s $194.5m, according to official reporting released Friday. Bettors placed $7m per day during the month, up from $5.5m per day during the same period in the previous year.
Gross gaming revenue grew to $16.7m, up 33% from August 2020’s $12.6m, and 3% better than July’s $17.2m. Adjusted gross revenue was $16.5m, producing $1.6m in state taxes.
Other than the 2020 months that were affected by the pandemic-related shutdowns, year-over-year growth has been the norm since the Hoosier State launched sports betting in September 2019.
With just a few retail operators in that first month, Indiana’s sportsbooks generated $8.3m in revenue on $35.2m in wagers. In the 24 months since, the state has produced, $4.3bn in wagering, $351.3m in gross sports betting revenue, and $33.4m in tax dollars for the state
Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana.com, stated: “With the pandemic, sports betting has not always traveled the smoothest road. Still, Indiana’s industry is maturing more quickly than anyone could have expected, especially considering the obstacles. And the growth is not done. Expect more revenue and wagering records to fall over the next few months.”
Baseball was the most popular sport wagered on during August with $68.3m, an increase on July’s $63.5m. However, with just a few college football games, NFL preseason games, and futures betting, football drew $13.9m in bets, up on the previous month’s $2.2m.
Russo added: “Even though preseason games are typically low-volume affairs, there was particular interest in the Colts this August because of the addition of quarterback Carson Wentz. Add in a light schedule of college football, and there was just enough to draw a significant amount of football wagers. Still, September’s full college schedule and opening weeks of the NFL should dwarf anything we saw in August.”
Online betting accounted for $195.2m (90.5%) of August’s handle. DraftKings topped the market with $74.2m, producing $4.4m in gross receipts. FanDuel was second with $52.6m, generating a state-best $4.9m in gross receipts.
Retail betting accounted for $20.4m in bets in August, up from July’s $19.9m. Hollywood Lawrenceburg led retail books with $5.6m in wagers.
Russo concluded: “The NFL, and to a lesser extent college football, is the best opportunity of the year for sportsbooks to attract new customers, so every operator will be aggressive over the next couple months.
“In addition, we expect to see a slew of new operators, such as SBK Sportsbook, launch during the next few months to take advantage of the prime sports betting season.”