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Indiana sportsbooks hit $187 million handle in February

10 March 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Super Bowl helped Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks post a February that landed another monthly record. And with March Madness ahead and new online casinos launching, Indiana is positioned to weather the launch of retail sports betting in Michigan and Indiana, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.com.

“Indiana’s market continues to mature, including the launch of more online sportsbooks, even as the football season ends,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “The state has a near-perfect storm of success, and will continue to be among the shining stars in legal sports betting even as neighboring states move to legalize sports betting.”

Indiana’s February handle hit $187.2 million, up 9.6% from a then-record $170.8 million handle generated in January, according to official reporting released Tuesday. February produced $11.1 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 15.9% from $12.9 million, yielding $1.1 million in state taxes.

Bettors placed $11.6 million in bets on football, almost entirely on the Super Bowl. And basketball continues to be a significant draw, generating $90.2 million in February wagers. Even Oscars betting appeared to be a hit, accounting for a significant portion of the $39.7 million wagered on the state’s “other” events.

“The Super Bowl was the single most significant event in February, but Indiana has done exceptionally well with basketball,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “That balance is helping Indiana avoid a post-football slump, which is common in jurisdictions such as Nevada.”

Indiana’s market advantages, most notably its ability to attract out-of-state bettors, have continued to hold, too. None of Indiana’s neighbors have launched legal sports betting yet, and because Indiana does not require in-person registration for mobile users, the Hoosier State can easily capitalize by allowing out-of-state bettors to simply cross the state line to make a bet.

Indiana will remain a friendly neighbor for sports bettors for the foreseeable future. Illinois and Michigan have legalized sports betting, with both launching retail betting this week. That will have some impact, but it should be blunted without an online component yet in either state. And progress toward legalizing sports betting is uncertain in both Kentucky and Ohio.

“Indiana’s relationship with out-of-state bettors takes many forms, ranging from those who cross the border to make bets at nearby land-based sportsbooks to those who hop over the state border in cars and place bets by phone,” Welman said. “Indiana’s sportsbooks have been aggressive in attracting that business, of course. It won’t last forever, but Indiana should enjoy the advantage while it’s there.”

Online sportsbooks generated $145.9 million in bets in February, or 77.9% of the state’s handle. And more sportsbooks came online with the Feb. 25 launch of BetMGM, which operates under the Belterra Casino license. PointsBet/Hollywood Lawrenceburg launched on March 5, and BetIndiana/Hard Rock is expected to launch this month, too.

In February, DraftKings/Ameristar Casino remained the online market leader with $74.1 million in bets, up from $66 million in January. That generated $5.7 million in gross receipts, up from $4.6 million. But FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino continued to gain ground on its rival, tallying a $63.8 million handle in February, up from $49.5 million. That resulted in a $2.7 million win, up from $1.9 million.

The market leaders were followed by:

- BetRivers/French Lick Resort ($7.7 million handle, down from $7.8 million; $348,869 win, down from $590,178)

- BetAmerica/Rising Star Casino Resort ($212,953 handle, up from $89,622; -$6,169 win, down from $1,854)

- BetMGM/Belterra Casino Resort ($70,061 handle; $13,175 win)

Market proximity continues to dictate Indiana’s retail market. Horseshoe Hammond, near Chicago, has consistently led the retail market. In February, Horseshoe Hammond posted a $12.4 million handle, down from $13.7 million in January. That generated $52,445 in gross receipts, down from $1.8 million. Horseshoe Hammond was followed by:

- Hollywood Casino - Lawrenceburg ($6.8 million handle, down from $7.8 million; $308,577 win, down from $578,993)

- Ameristar East Casino ($5.9 million handle, down from $7 million; $345,660 win, down from $1.4 million)

- Indiana Grand Racing & Casino ($4.7 million handle, down from $5 million; $516,760 win, up from $365,318)

- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino ($4.5 million handle, down from $5.4 million; $301,764 win, down from $321,785)

- Caesars Southern Indiana ($2.2 million handle, down from $2.4 million; $16,774 win, down from $143,966)

- Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa ($2.1 million handle, down from $2.7 million; $3,008 win, down from $279,868)

- Tropicana Evansville ($1.6 million handle, down from $2 million; $31,513 win, down from $210,974)

- Belterra Casino ($864,230 handle, down from $934,724; $46,173 win, up from $8,077)

- French Lick Resort ($387,656 handle, down from $533,634; $27,015 win, down from $14,132)

- Rising Star Casino ($123,393 handle, down from $213,552; $11,723 win, up from -$40,497)

“The successful partnership between DraftKings and Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, which generates the largest combined online and retail handle, crystalizes Indiana’s market advantages,” Welman said. “The DraftKings app was first to the market, and its ease of use has kept it on top. Meanwhile, Ameristar continues to draw heavily from the Chicago market.”

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Indiana sportsbooks hit $187 million handle in February is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.