Setting The Stage: Indiana Casino Revenue Ticks Up; Sports Betting Revenue Due Out Soon

Posted on October 2, 2019

The month of August was a good one at Indiana gaming facilities. Most of the Hoosier State’s casinos and racetracks trended upward according to the August Indiana casino revenue report.

Whatever the cause, the numbers were not only better than the previous month but an improvement on the same month last year, as well. Furthermore, the numbers bode well for the rest of the year.

August Indiana casino revenue: The skinny on the fat

According to the latest report from the Indiana Gaming Commission, total taxable adjusted gross receipts (AGRs) from all casinos in Indiana came to $173.94 million. The state collected $35.96 million in taxes during the month.

Both of those totals are up from July of this year. In July the state collected $32.38 million on $169.66 million of taxable AGRs. The increase in the AGRs month-over-month is about 2.5%.

Comparing August 2019 to August 2018 produces a favorable outlook, as well. While August 2018 saw just $173 million in taxable AGRs, the tax collected was actually higher at $36.11 million.

Upticks in casino revenue from July to August aren’t abnormal. Summer months are usually the worst for casinos. The numbers from August of this year could be especially encouraging, however.

Why a good August could be positive foreshadowing

Although the strongest months of the year are typically in the late spring, Indiana casinos have a reason for optimism. The transition from August to the rest of the year was significant in the Hoosier State.

On Sept. 1, retail sports betting went live in Indiana. Starting Oct. 3 and likely continuing through the rest of the month, mobile sportsbooks are going live, as well.

While the former leads to better returns for casinos, as slots and table games have higher margins and the hope is that people who visit to place bets on sports will also play them, the latter is also a revenue boost. All the mobile sports betting apps in Indiana will be operated under the license of a gaming facility.

September’s revenue report will show how much betting at physical sportsbooks has increased income for casinos. October’s will demonstrate the demand for internet gambling, although limited to wagering on sports.

If both activities have their intended effects, revenue reports around the state could show higher numbers from here on out. The revenue from mobile sports betting could have another value to it, as well.

How the numbers on mobile betting could prove useful

Internet casino games remain illegal in the Hoosier State. In other states like nearby Michigan, which has an online component to its state lottery, the games are quite popular.

If the demand for mobile sports betting proves widespread, leading to burgeoning tax revenue, that could strengthen the argument to legalize online casinos. While the two crowds may not necessarily see overlap, the convenience factor plays the same in both camps.

Just like for sports betting, more people are likely to play slot and table games if they can do so without leaving their homes. It’s the next logical step in gambling expansion in Indiana.

When that might happen is up in the air. Right now, it’s not a bad time to run a casino in Indiana. It could be about to get even better, however.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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