Retail Betting Disappoints As Indiana’s June Handle Shrinks To $29 Million

Posted on July 10, 2020

Indiana’s sports betting handle took a step back in June.

In May, Indiana pulled in over $37 million worth of wagers. That number dropped down to $29 million in June.

June had Indiana’s second-lowest handle ever for a single month. The only month with lower numbers was April 2020’s $26 million haul.

Indiana’s June 2020 sports betting numbers

Here’s a breakdown of Indiana’s sports betting numbers for June 2020:

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleGross RevenueState Tax
Ameristar East ChicagoDraftKings$18,430,007$18,239,086$190,921$1,540,429$166,740
Blue ChipFanDuel$7,900,687$7,867,516$33,171$795,707$83,482
French LickBetRivers$1,349,570$1,336,452$13,118$157,735$15,221
Hollywood LawrenceburgPointsBet$844,344$520,376$323,968-$2,470$0
Horseshoe HammondCaesars$54,946$33,444$21,502-$27,186$0
Rising StarBetAmerica$34,384$28,212$6,172$962$0
Tropicana Evansville$28,547$0$28,547-$2,847$0
Harrah's Hoosier Park$0$0$0-$4,725$0
Indiana Grand$0$0$0-$2,508$0
Caesars Southern Indiana$0$0$0-$31,629$0

Indiana retail sports betting disappoints

Indiana’s casinos reopened on June 15, after a handful of months without taking a single bet.

During that time, online sports betting was the state’s only source of gambling income.

Online casinos have helped offset the closures in other states, but since Indiana hasn’t legalized them yet, it’s gone without that life raft.

However, casinos reopening didn’t provide the handle boost that the state was hoping for. Retail betting barely accounted for $630,000, or 2%, of June’s handle.

Several retail sportsbooks in Indiana lost money in June.

It could have just been an unlucky month for the house, but it also suggests that gamblers have been holding onto winning tickets for the past few months. After all, you can’t cash in a winning ticket if the casino you placed your bet at is closed.

Regardless of the reasoning, the retail numbers are still disappointing. They’ll likely start to rebound once the major sports leagues return to action, but that’s still a few weeks away.

Hoosiers tired of betting on obscure sports

Indiana’s sports betting handle took an expected hit at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, it’s been slowly recovering month after month.

However, Indiana’s numbers started to tank again in June. That’s likely due to a big drop in the number of bets on obscure sports.

For the past few months, the “other” sports category has been the most popular for betting in Indiana. That category includes everything that isn’t:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • A parlay

In May, Hoosiers bet over $30 million on those “other” sports. That number took a big drop to $20 million during June.

So what caused the drop?

A big part of the dive is because of table tennis betting.

Table tennis has been wildly popular for betting since the major sports leagues shut down back in mid-March. Most of those bets were coming in on matches taking place in Russia and Belarus.

Then, in late May, the Indiana Gaming Commission banned betting on one of the most popular Russian leagues. Without as many matches to bet on, the popularity of table tennis gambling was sure to take a hit.

However, betting fatigue is another likely culprit for the drop.

After months of betting on obscure sports like table tennis and Belarusian soccer, Hoosiers could just be getting tired of the few options that are out there right now.

With major sports leagues like the NBA and MLB returning to play soon, bettors could just be saving their cash for when the top dogs are back.

Indiana bettors ready for return of NBA and MLB

With professional baseball and basketball returning this month, Indiana bettors will be happy to have some well-known sports back on the table for gambling.

The betting handle for both sports shot up significantly in June.

In May, gamblers only placed a meager $9,900 worth of wagers on basketball. During June, that number shot up to over $600,000.

Baseball betting saw an even bigger increase. In June, Hoosiers bet over $2 million on baseball, which was up significantly from May’s $950,000 mark.

So even though the obscure sports are getting less attention, the numbers for the major sports are finally starting to rebound.

The growth of baseball and basketball betting will likely explode in July, as the NBA and MLB make their returns.

Although the numbers for “other” sports will deflate in July, they won’t disappear completely.

That’s because the NHL is also returning in July, and its betting numbers are lumped into that “other” category. The major sports leagues also don’t return until the end of the month, so obscure sports like table tennis will still be a betting priority for at least the first three weeks of July.

Regardless of where the money comes from, Indiana will certainly be happy to get back on track. With popular sports finally making their comeback, June could easily end up being the last month that Indiana’s handle shrinks.

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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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