PlayIndiana estimates that Indiana residents will bet about $4.1 billion on sports during 2023. That projection would be a step backward for the state’s market compared with 2022.
Indiana sports betting has come a long way since the industry began in 2019. It’s been over three years since then, and Hoosiers have taken a liking to placing bets on their favorite events.
Bettors in the state have wagered over $10 billion on sports since betting first started. That massive handle has helped make Indiana one of the biggest sports betting states in the entire country.
The industry has grown exponentially over the past few years, but that massive growth can’t go on forever. Eventually, Indiana sports betting is due for a year when the numbers start to level off.
That year could finally be here for the Hoosier State.
Indiana sports betting could decline in 2023
Indiana sports betting is a fully mature market at this point. The state’s industry is in a solid spot with a handful of years of legal gambling under its belt.
Despite that, Indiana sports betting could see a small decline this year.
A $4.1 billion handle is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it’s still a noticeable decline from 2022, when PlayIndiana estimates that residents bet about $4.5 billion on sports.
State regulators already have announced that Hoosiers bet more than $4 billion last year, but that total doesn’t include December 2022’s data.
The Indiana Gaming Commission will release last month’s numbers soon, and PlayIndiana expects that handle to be about $450 million. That would put the state near the $4.5 billion mark for 2022, about $400 million higher than Indiana’s expected handle for 2023.
According to our national projections, the $4.1 billion handle mark for 2023 would put Indiana as the 13th-highest state in the country.
|State||Projected 2023 Handle|
|1. New York||$14.4 billion|
|2. New Jersey||$10.5 billion|
|3. Illinois||$10.2 billion|
|4. Ohio||$8.7 billion|
|5. Nevada||$8.6 billion|
|6. Pennsylvania||$7.1 billion|
|7. Arizona||$6.1 billion|
|8. Colorado||$4.8 billion|
|9. Michigan||$4.7 billion|
|10. Virginia||$4.6 billion|
|11. Tennessee||$4.3 billion|
|12. Massachusetts||$4.2 billion|
|13. Indiana||$4.1 billion|
Indiana residents will bet on football and basketball
It’s no surprise, but the majority of Indiana’s 2023 sports betting handle will come from football and basketball betting.
The Hoosier hoops hysteria usually fuels the state’s numbers during the first half of the year. Basketball is typically the top sport for betting in state from January through the end of July.
Football, the most popular sport for betting in the US, takes the reigns during the late summer and stays on top through the end of the year.
PlayIndiana expects Indiana sports betting to follow a similar track during 2023. The majority of the state’s potential $4.1 billion handle will come from football and basketball betting.
Those two sports should account for more than $2.7 billion worth of bets this year. PlayIndiana estimates that approximately 35% of Indiana’s 2023 bets will be placed on basketball, with another 33% of the state’s handle coming from football.
Fewer bettors traveling to Indiana
In 2019, Indiana was the only state in the Midwest with access to legal sports betting. That led to all sorts of people driving to Indiana from neighboring states to place their bets.
However, those days are gone. All of Indiana’s neighbors have sports betting industries of their own, except for Kentucky.
Ohio sports betting finally arrived on Jan. 1, which could prove to be a hit to Indiana’s numbers this year.
Fewer out-of-state people driving to Indiana to bet could lead to smaller handles for the state’s online sportsbooks.
That rings especially true for Indiana casinos near Cincinnati that aren’t likely to receive as much business from Ohio residents who now have their own sports betting options closer to home.
Traveling bettors are just one aspect that could lead to a drop for Indiana’s handle this year.
Other factors contributing to the decline
A handful of other factors could contribute to Indiana’s potential sports betting decline.
The number of sportsbook operators in Indiana has started to plateau. Only three new online sportsbooks opened for business in the state in 2022, and one of them closed its doors after less than two months.
That shows that gambling companies around the US are no longer rushing to take bets in Indiana.
At this point, it’s hard for a new sportsbook to carve out a meaningful market share in the state. That has sports betting apps looking for better opportunities in newer markets outside of Indiana.
When a sportsbook launches in a new state, it often features shiny new promotions to help attract users.
Flashy deals and new sportsbooks can help spur sports betting interest, and without a flow of eye-catching new options, the market may start to feel a little stale for some bettors.
Indiana’s list of sports betting options also has reached its limit. Gaming regulators haven’t expanded the state’s list since June 2022.
Once upon a time, Indiana was constantly approving new events that Hoosiers could place a bet on. That included special seasonal events such as Halloween candy eating competitions.
The list has grown so much in recent years that there isn’t really anything meaningful left to add to it outside of betting on player trades and similar markets. That could further contribute to feelings of staleness for Indiana sports bettors.
Although they’re likely to be small contributors, a lack of new sportsbooks and betting options could be factors in Indiana’s potential sports betting decline this year.
Competition from other forms of Indiana gambling
Another factor that could hurt sports betting numbers in 2023 is the rise of other forms of gambling in Indiana.
The fact is, Hoosiers only have so much money that they’re willing to gamble. A limited number of dollars to go around will have sports betting fighting against other forms of Indiana gambling.
Online casinos could be a huge factor during the later months of the year.
Internet casinos aren’t legal in Indiana, but lawmakers will introduce a new bill this week that aims to change that. If things go well, online casinos could be taking bets in the state by Sept. 1, 2023.
Hoosiers will be eager to try a new form of online gambling, which could shift some of the gambling dollars out of sports betting’s hands.
PlayIndiana’s $4.1 billion projection for Indiana’s market is a decline from 2022’s numbers, but that doesn’t mean that the state’s industry isn’t in a strong spot.
Indiana residents have been betting on sports since 2019, so the state’s numbers leveling off shows a mature and healthy market making the typical ebbs and flows of the legal gambling industry.
The fact is, Hoosiers love to bet on sports. Regardless of how much money Indiana bets this year, Indiana sports betting isn’t going anywhere, and the state is in a strong position to succeed for years to come.