Indiana Sports Betting Might Be 2020’s Best Rags To Riches Story

Posted on December 21, 2020

2020 was a rollercoaster year for the Indiana sports betting market.

The state’s first full year of legal sports betting was a bumpy one thanks to COVID-19, but it was still full of progress.

Between a fistful of new sportsbooks and more Hoosiers betting than ever, 2020 was a year to remember.

Six Indiana sportsbooks launch in 2020

Indiana only had four online sportsbooks at the beginning of the year.

The state barely even reached that mark. BetAmerica became Indiana’s fourth betting app when it opened for business on Dec. 30, 2019.

Hoosiers may not have had a ton of sportsbook options at the start of year, but that changed pretty quickly as the months went by.

Six new online betting apps made their way to Indiana in the past twelve months. The list of newcomers includes some huge companies that were already taking bets elsewhere before coming to the Midwest.

Indiana might be up to 10 operators now, but the state isn’t stopping there. A handful of other companies are coming in 2021.

888Sport is eyeing Indiana and is preparing for launch. SBK is ahead of 888 when it comes to the launch process, and just received its temporary vendor license from the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Both companies plan to start taking bets next year.

Indiana’s big game hunting will culminate in Barstool Sportbook’s 2021 launch. The popular online sportsbook will open for business in Indiana sometime next year.

Barstool also plans to open retail sportsbooks at both Hollywood Lawrenceburg and Ameristar East Chicago. That will give the company quite a foothold throughout the state.

Those are just the sportsbooks that we know for sure are coming to Indiana next year.

The more new operators that come to the state, the more that 2021 will resemble this year in terms of Indiana’s growth as a sports betting market.

Indiana’s sports betting handle skyrockets

Those six new sportsbooks also played a big role in the rise of Indiana’s betting numbers throughout the year.

The state racked up over $161 million worth of wagers in December 2019. Since then, that number has been on the rise, for the most part.

Indiana’s handle shot up to $187 million in February thanks to basketball betting. That was the state’s biggest handle to-date at the time.

That’s when COVID-19 entered the picture.

The pandemic dealt a huge blow to the sports betting industry. Without any of the regular betting options available, most gamblers took a few months off.

Without any sports to bet on, Indiana’s handle dipped to a year-low $29 million in June.

It took Indiana months to recover, but the state wasn’t the only one in that position. Every sports betting market around the country was dealt the same hand.

As expected, things started to pick up heading into the fall.

With college football and NFL betting leading the charge, Indiana racked up three-straight record months from September-November.

Football was a big help, but Indiana’s robust betting offering can also be attributed to its success. With no limits on college sports wagering, and the ability for bettors to put money down on things like candy eating contents, there’s something for everyone in the state.

The Hoosier State hauled in over $251 million worth of wagers in November alone. In other words, Indiana’s handle grew about 55% from December 2019-November 2020.

That number could easily end up expanding in December, although we won’t know for sure until the revenue numbers are released next month.

But regardless of how Indiana closes out 2020, one thing is clear: the state’s sports betting market is going to continue to grow. Indiana is already one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country, and it isn’t going anywhere in 2021.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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