Based on the latest handle and revenue reporting from the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC), sports bettors in the Hoosier State have gone head over heels for online / mobile wagering.
Per the IGC’s monthly reports for the nascent industry, Indiana sportsbook operators harnessed the power of online / mobile access in November to secure a 61 percent increase in handle – or the combined dollar amount of total wagers placed.
All told, bettors placed $147.3 million worth of wagers in the state’s 14 licensed sportsbook locations throughout last month, a massive increase from October’s handle of $91.7 million. And compared to September’s handle of $34.5 million, Indiana’s sports betting market has more than quadrupled in scope in just two full months of operation.
Trio of Online / Mobile Options Provides Instant Boost for Bookmakers
Regulated brick and mortar sports betting at casinos and racetracks began back on September 1, but the online / mobile vertical didn’t go live until October 3 when Rush Street Interactive launched its BetRivers.com app in conjunction with licensing partner French Lick Casino Resort. The DraftKings Sportsbook app began serving bettors on the same day through partner casino Ameristar, while chief rival FanDuel Sportsbook got in the game on October 22 under the Blue Chip and Belterra casinos’ licenses.
In comments made to InsideIndianaBusiness.com, Dustin Gouker – who serves as the lead analyst for Las Vegas-based gaming industry analysis provider PlayIndiana.com – the sharp spike in November handle can be directly attributed to online / mobile access:
“Once online betting begins, the market grows exponentially.
Bettors overwhelmingly prefer the convenience and safety of online sportsbooks, and the addition of DraftKings and FanDuel in October was like adding rocket fuel to Indiana’s sports betting industry.”
To wit, the state’s three online / mobile sportsbooks accounted for $96.2 in handle – representing 65 percent of November’s total. That ratio climbed from 52 percent online / mobile wagers in October, a phenomenon Gouker told InsideIndianaBusiness.com will likely become the norm going
“We expect that at least 75 percent of Indiana’s handle will eventually come from online sportsbooks, and that threshold should be met within months.”
From the nearly $150 million in total bets accepted during November, operators combined to haul in $9.3 million in gross revenue – marking a 19 percent decrease from October’s revenue “win” of $11.5 million.
Nonetheless, the state wins no matter who gets the better in a battle between bettors and bookmakers thanks to Indiana’s 9.5 percent tax on sports betting revenue. That tax rate generated $883,361 last month, adding to the $1.09 million and $813,103 collected in October and September, respectively.
Local Operators Eye Record-Breaking Numbers After Strong Start
Speaking with WIBC-News, Frank Ignatius – who heads up the sportsbook operation at Majestic Star Casino – the local industry’s strong start could put Indiana on par with more established statewide markets:
“New Jersey just broke the record at $570 million, but they’re more than one year ahead of Indiana, which will likely reach $325 million in total revenue once the market hits full maturity.
Keep in mind, we’re only about 90 days in, so sports betting in Indiana is just in its infancy in the state.
I think the arrows are still pointing up.”
Legal sports betting in the Garden State debuted in June of 2018 and the industry has steadily maintained growth rates ever since, culminating in the record-setting November handle of $562.7 alluded to by Ignatius. Based on the year-to-year growth rate of 70 percent experienced as New Jersey’s market matured, Indiana could realistically expect a November 2020 handle of more than $250 million.