Indiana’s sports betting volume began to bounce back in August, as a handful of college football and preseason NFL games drew enough interest from bettors to bump volume up nearly 11% from July. But as Indiana’s sports betting industry turns 2, the uptick to nearly $216 million in wagers offers just a precursor of a fall that is certain to bring fresh growth, according to PlayIndiana, which tracks the state’s gaming industry.
“Even a little bit of football can make a big difference in a month,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIndiana.com. “The schedule was still relatively light compared to the fall, but it is a great sign that August brought a nice bounce in wagering.”
Online and retail sportsbooks combined to draw $215.6 million in bets in August, which is up 27.6% from $169.0 million in August 2020 and up 10.9% from $194.5 million in July, according to official reporting released Friday. Bettors placed $7 million per day over the 31 days of August, up from $5.5 million per day in August 2020 and $6.3 million per day in July.
Gross gaming revenue grew to $16.7 million, up 33% from $12.6 million in August 2020 and up 3% from $17.2 million in July. Adjusted gross revenue was $16.5 million, producing $1.6 million in state taxes.
Other than the months in 2020 that were marred by pandemic-related shutdowns, year-over-year growth has been the norm since Indiana launched its sports betting industry in September 2019. With just a handful of retail operators in that first month, Indiana’s sportsbooks generated $8.3 million in revenue on $35.2 million in wagers.
In the 24 months since launch, the Hoosier State has produced:
- $4.3 billion in wagering
- $351.3 million in gross sports betting revenue
- $33.4 million in tax dollars for the state
“With the pandemic, sports betting has not always traveled the smoothest road,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “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 again topped all sports with $68.3 million in wagering, up from $63.5 million in July. But even with just a handful of college football games, in addition to preseason NFL games and futures betting, football drew $13.9 million in wagering in August, up from $2.2 million in July.
Of particular importance to Indiana bettors were three preseason Indianapolis Colts games. And sportsbooks have been gearing up for a surge in action with aggressive promotions ahead of the NFL season.
“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,” Russo said. “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 90.5%, or $195.2 million, of August’s handle. DraftKings topped the market with $74.2 million in online wagering in August, up from $60.2 million in July. The month’s wagering produced $4.4 million in gross receipts, down from $4.7 million in July. FanDuel was second in August with $52.6 million in wagering, down from $54.3 million in July. Those bets produced a state-best $4.9 million in gross receipts.
The leaders were followed by:
- BetMGM ($26.2 million handle, up from $25.6 million in June; $2.5 million win, up from $2.2 million).
- William Hill/Caesars ($16.9 million handle, up from $7.9 million; $977,286 win, up from $228,927)
- Barstool ($8.6 million handle, up from $7.2 million; $347,062 win, down from $463,462)
- PointsBet ($5.9 million handle, down from $7.0 million; $574,087 win, down from $747,400)
- BetRivers ($5.8 million handle, down from $6.9 million; $409,812 win, down from $659,187)
- TheScore ($1.8 million handle, down from $3.4 million; $28,776 loss, down from $73,512 win)
- TwinSpires ($1.3 million handle, up from $536,783; $37,866 win, up from $5,043 loss)
- WynnBet ($777,706 handle, up from $737,797; $77,443 win, down from $109,614)
- Unibet ($775,921 handle, down from $852,852; $22,300 win, down from $80,444)
- BetWay ($301,696 handle, up from $30,859; $5,081 loss, down from $1,059 loss)
Meanwhile, retail betting accounted for $20.4 million in bets in August, up from $19.9 million in July. Hollywood Lawrenceburg, nearest to Cincinnati and one of the highest-volume retail sportsbooks in the U.S., led retail books in Indiana with $5.6 million in wagers, down from $5.9 million in July. Ameristar East Chicago was second with $3.4 million in bets, just ahead of Indiana Grand ($3.3 million) Harrah’s Hoosier Park ($3.1 million), and Horseshoe Hammond ($2.6 million).
“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,” Russo said. “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.”
For more revenue information on Indiana sportsbooks, visit PlayIndiana.com/revenue.