PlayIndiana.com: Sportsbooks get 2021 off on the right foot with nearly $350 million in January

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Indiana sportsbooks opened 2021 with yet another impressive month, setting the state’s wagering record for the fifth consecutive month with nearly $350 million and posting a new high in revenue. January’s strong showing, which came as neighboring Michigan launched its sports betting market, is yet more evidence that Indiana is far from reaching its ceiling and capable of generating more than $3 billion in bets in 2021, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.

“This will be a particularly important year for Indiana’s sports betting industry,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Illinois and Michigan, which were two feeder markets in the early days of sports betting in Indiana, will continue to grow. And Ohio is moving toward regulating sports betting, too. So sportsbooks will increasingly have to rely on in-state bettors. That said, the market continues to prove more than capable of standing on its own.”

Indiana sportsbooks accepted $348.2 million in wagers in January, according to official reporting released Friday. That is up 103.9% from $171 million in January 2019 — highlighting the industry’s dramatic year-over-year growth — and topped the previous record of $313.1 million set in December.

January’s wagering resulted in a record $29.3 million in adjusted gross operator revenue, up from $12.2 million in January 2019 and up from $24.1 million in December. The month’s bets yielded $2.8 million in state taxes.

The brisk start to the year offers a glimpse of what could come in 2021. If the growth continues through the year, the state could top $3 billion in bets, more than $200 million in revenue, and $20 million in state taxes, according to PlayIndiana projections.

“Assuming we don’t have any interruptions in the sports schedule like in 2020, a new high is almost assured in 2021,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “The biggest question is how much higher? That depends in large part on how well the market responds to increasing competition from its neighbors.”

Historically across legal jurisdictions, including Indiana last year, January tends to be relatively flat with December. But a late start to the NBA season meant that January offered the first full month of games and college basketball settled into a more robust conference schedule after a relatively sparse nonconference schedule as basketball, and bettors responded with $133.2 million in wagers, accounting for 38% of the state’s handle. Plus, January got a boost from an expanded NFL playoffs with two additional games over Wild Card weekend, including one with the Indianapolis Colts, which helped football draw $77.6 million in bets.

“Aside from the NFL’s expanded playoff, January was perhaps the most normal sports schedule since February 2020, offering our best gauge yet of where Indiana is as a market,” Welman said. “Even with increased competition from Michigan, which launched in late January, Indiana’s sportsbooks continue to perform well. Indiana’s significant interest in basketball differentiates the market from many in the U.S., and offers a positive sign for a market that is increasingly local.”

Online betting generated 85.1% of January’s handle, or $296.5 million, which was up from 84% in December. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino accounted for 35.2% of the state’s January handle with $122.6 million in bets, up from $112.7 million in December. Those bets produced $9.4 million in gross receipts, up from $5.1 million in December. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino was second with $89.2 million in bets, up from $78.2 million, which produced $8.2 million in gross receipts.

Meanwhile, BetMGM/Belterra continues to make gains, accounting for 15.1% of the state’s handle with $52.4 million, up from $41 million in December. That yielded a $3.7 million win, up from $2.9 million.

The leaders were followed by:

  • PointsBet/Hollywood Lawrenceburg ($13.5 million handle, up from $11.4 million; $1.4 million win, up from $1.2 million)
  • BetRivers/French Lick Resort ($9 million handle, down from $10.6 million; 8$28,347 win, up from $803,868)
  • William Hill/Tropicana Evansville ($5.1 million handle, up from $4.2 million; $543,439 win, down from $632,634)
  • TheScore/Ameristar ($2.2 million handle, down from $2.8 million; $134,301 win, up from $85,721)
  • Unibet/Horseshoe Hammond ($1.6 million handle, up from $1.4 million; $98,717 win, down from $108,609)
  • Caesars/Horseshoe Hammond ($677,532 handle, up from $675,183; $34,008 win, up from $27,569)
  • BetAmerica/Rising Star Casino ($171,253 handle, down from $209,608; $11,476 win, down from $14,505)

Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks produced $51.7 million in January wagers, up from $47.4 million in January 2020. Hollywood Lawrenceburg, nearest Cincinnati, led the retail market with a $13.4 million handle. Ameristar Casino was second with $9.6 million, followed by Horseshoe Hammond with $7.4 million.

“A year after launching, BetMGM has quietly become a major player in the state,” Gouker said. “DraftKings and FanDuel continue to be the dominant forces, but having more operators challenge the top is ultimately good for consumers.”

For more revenueinformation on Indiana sportsbooks, visit PlayIndiana.com/revenue.
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George Miller has started working in the gaming industry as an Editor/Content Manager in 2016 and since then he has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy subject covering. In 2017, he became Head of Content and he is responsible for the editorial team, press release and story covering on multiple websites that are part of Hipther Agency, including EuropeanGaming.eu.

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