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Indiana sports betting handle hits six-month low

12 May 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Indiana’s sports betting industry experienced another month-over-month decline in April, as wagering dropped to its lowest level since October 2020. But in a state that has known little else but growth, the expected decline is indicative of the beginning of a typical sports betting slowdown period that will likely last until the beginning of football season, according to PlayIndiana, which provides news and analysis of the state’s gaming industry.

“Even a high volume of regular season baseball and NBA basketball games can’t make up for a calendar devoid of NFL and college football games, or a major betting event like the NCAA Tournament,” said Jessica Welman, lead analyst at PlayIndiana. “Because the pandemic turned the 2020 sports schedule on its head, Indiana hasn’t really experienced a full year of normal sports betting activity. But there are normal seasonal ebbs and flows in sports betting, and this is the start of what is historically the slowest period of every year.”

Indiana sportsbooks collected $236.4 million in wagers in April, according to official reporting released Wednesday. That is down 25.4% from $316.7 million in March and counts as the lowest monthly handle since sportsbooks generated a $230.9 million handle in October 2020.

April’s bets produced $20.1 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 23.8% from $26.4 million in March. That yielded $1.9 million in state taxes.

Indiana sportsbooks have already accepted $1.2 billion in bets through the first four months of the year. Even with a month-over-month decline in April, this year stands in stark contrast to 2020. In what was the low point of the year, online sportsbooks took in just $26.3 million in wagers in April 2020, while retail outlets were completely shuttered as the sports world went quiet.

“This is the first time we get to see how Indiana will perform during the spring and summer months, and through one month Indiana is meeting expectations,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana. “With the Olympics ahead and the NBA Playoffs pushed back a month, this could actually be a better summer than in most years. And Indiana’s sportsbooks are well-positioned to take advantage.”

Online betting accounted for 88.4%, or $209.1 million, of the state’s handle, an increase from 88.1% in March. Retail sportsbooks generated the remaining $27.3 million in wagers, down from $37.5 million in March.

DraftKings Sportsbook once again topped all online operators with $79.3 million in online bets, down from $111.2 million in March. That produced $6.1 million in gross receipts, down from $8.5 million in March. FanDuel was second with $67.1 million in bets, down from $92.4 million in March. That produced $5.7 million in gross receipts, down from $6.8 million.

The leaders were followed by:

BetMGM ($30.9 million handle, down from $39.4 million in March; $3.1 million win, down from $3.6 million).
PointsBet USA ($10.3 million handle, down from $13.1 million; $794,476 win, down from $1.7 million)
William Hill US($8.5 million handle, down from $9.5 million; $378,830 win, down from $879,577)
BetRivers Online/French Lick Resort ($7.3 million handle, down from $9.2 million; $381,975 win, down from $829,034)
TheScore Bet ($3.2 million handle, up from $3 million; $128,670 win, down from $263,111)
Unibet Sports & Racebook ($2 million handle, down from $2.1 million; $23,884 win, down from $139,283)
WynnBet ($411,778 handle; $47,206 win)
TwinSpires ($158,702 handle; -$8,929 win)
Caesars (No handle; -$2,167 win, down from $1,392)

Hollywood Casino - Lawrenceburg, nearest Cincinnati, led the retail market again with $8.4 million in wagers. Ameristar East Chicago was second with $5.2 million.

The online market also got more competitive in April. First with the launch of WynnBET on April 1, then later with the launch of TwinSpires just ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Barstool Sportsbook is also gearing up for the much-anticipated launch of its app.

“Even as the market approaches its second birthday, operators remain bullish on Indiana,” Russo said. “With two of the highest-volume retail sportsbooks in the state already, Barstool’s online app could really move the market. Fresh entries into the market will keep the largest operators in the state on their toes and vying for new customers.”

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