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Indiana sportsbooks end year with $160M month, close 2019 with more than $430M in bets

Indiana retail and online sportsbooks capped their inaugural year in the state by surpassing $160 million in bets in a month for the first time. Indiana’s record handle in December pushed the state to more than $430 million in bets since the first wager was accepted in September, a staggering pace that has set the stage for a momentous 2020, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg casino (provided photo)

“Indiana’s ascent to one of the largest sports betting markets in the country has been impressive by most any measure,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana. “The question for 2020 is whether Indiana can sustain its rate of expansion, especially as neighboring states become more likely to legalize sports betting. That has already happened in Michigan, which could take a bite out of the handle at some of northern Indiana’s retail sportsbooks.”

That number is significant as the Kentucky General Assembly will consider legislation in the 2020 session that would legalize sports betting in the Commonwealth.

Supporters of the legislation say sportbooks would add much-needed revenue to the state’s coffers and potentially increase purses at its horse racing tracks, if permitted there.

In December, the state’s retail and online sportsbooks generated a combined $161.8 million in bets, up 10 percent from November’s $147.3 million handle, according to official reporting released Friday. December’s handle produced $12 million in adjusted gross revenue, up 29 percent from $9.3 million in November. 

The “win” yielded $1.1 million in tax revenue for the state.

Belterra Casino (provided photo).

Indiana sportsbooks have now generated $433.4 million in bets and $42.7 million in revenue since launch, and is easily the fourth-largest sports betting marketing in the country, trailing only Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

To put Indiana’s growth into perspective, it took Pennsylvania, the No. 3 market in the U.S., 10 months to surpass $400 million in lifetime handle. Indiana surpassed $400 million in its fourth month.

A boost could come in January.

Football betting has accounted for $178.6 million since launch and $59.1 million in bets in December, and that will likely surge with the NFL Playoffs and college football’s national championship in January. In addition, basketball, which has accounted for $82.2 million since launch and $42.3 million in December, should grow as college basketball enters conference season and the NBA season heats up.

“With the NFL Playoffs at hand and college basketball in full swing, it is possible that Indiana will surpass $1 billion in bets by March, making Indiana one of the quickest legal U.S. jurisdictions to reach that mark,” Gouker said.

The relatively rapid growth of Indiana, which launched online sportsbooks in October, can be attributed to the adoption of online sports betting far earlier than states such as Pennsylvania. In Indiana, $110.6 million of December’s bets were made online representing 69.5 percent of the state’s total handle, up from 65 percent of the November handle.

Online sports betting is also growing in the number of sportsbooks. BetAmerica, operating under the Rising Star Casino license, became Indiana’s fourth online sportsbook when it launched in late December.

Still, DraftKings, which operates under the Ameristar Casino license, led the online market once again. In December,

Once again, the top retail sportsbooks were those closest to large out-of-state markets. The top retail sportsbook in Indiana continues to be Horseshoe Hammond, near Chicago. The market leader generated $13.4 million in December, up from $13 million in November. Those bets generated $1.1 million in gross receipts, up from $800,208.

Horseshoe Hammond was followed by:

• Hollywood Lawrenceburg ($8.9 million handle, up from $8.8 million in November; $824,235 win, down from $1.1 million)

• Ameristar Casino ($8.3 million handle, up from $8 million in November; $928,211 win, up from $735,103)

• Harrah’s Hoosier Park ($5.7 million handle, down from $7 million; $441,112 win, down from $557,764)

• Indiana Grand ($4.6 million handle, up from $4.2 million; $208,275 win, up from $171,205)

• Blue Chip Casino ($4.2 million handle, down from $4.5 million; $186,802 win, down from $310,955)

• Tropicana Evansville ($2 million handle, even with November; $185,176 win, up from $174,841)

• Caesars Southern Indiana ($1.6 million handle, up from $1.4 million; $170,884 win, down from $106,081)

• French Lick Resort ($1.5 million handle, up from $1.2 million; $13,587 win, down from $45,357)

• Belterra Casino ($948,810 handle, up from $920,344; $151,640 win, up from $92,233)

“Indiana’s strong start is unquestionably tied to the state’s relatively early launch of online sports betting,” Gouker said. “Online sports betting should make up an increasing share of the state’s handle, too. That will help steady Indiana’s sports betting industry, even as increasing competition from neighboring states affect retail sportsbooks, which is inevitable.”

For more revenue information on Indiana sportsbooks, click here.

From PlayIndiana

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