Indiana Sports Betting Market Shows Resiliency Through Slow Season

Posted on June 11, 2021

Indiana’s sports betting handle showed some resiliency in May.

The state racked up $254 million worth of wagers throughout the month, which was up from April’s $236 million haul.

That small bump was thanks to a handful of big sporting events like the NBA Playoffs and the Indianapolis 500.

New sportsbook launches also helped stimulate some growth in the market.

Barstool Sportsbook and Betway both made their Indiana debuts last month.

Indiana May 2021 sports betting handle

May’s $254 million in wagers created nearly $1.8 million in taxes for Indiana and about $19 million in revenue for the sportsbooks themselves.

Here’s a look at where the state’s handle came from:

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleRevenueState Tax
Ameristar East ChicagoDraftKings | theScore Bet$89,174,818$84,792,062$4,382,756$4,605,331$437,506
Blue ChipFanDuel$80,000,077$79,295,853$704,224$7,673,122$728,947
BelterraBetMGM | Betway$29,788,164$29,304,760$447,404$2,562,430$243,431
Hollywood LawrenceburgPointsBet | Barstool$26,084,407$17,632,903$8,451,505$2,013,013$191,236
Tropicana EvansvilleWilliam Hill$8,941,195$8,238,867$702,328$207,082$19,673
French Lick BetRivers$6,950,173$6,825,909$124,264$458,187$43,528
Horseshoe HammondCaesars | Unibet$4,354,210$1,311,791$3,042,419$329,182$31,272
Harrah's Hoosier Park$3,741,071$0$3,741,071$388,667$36,923
Indiana Grand$3,072,921$0$3,072,921$410,227$38,972
Caesars Southern Indiana$1,270,882$0$1,270,882$122,159$11,605
Rising StarTwinSpires | WynnBet$1,067,307$989,986$77,322$83,792$7,960

Multiple betting options help Indiana

Most sports betting markets see a dip in handle after the NFL season and March Madness end.

Indiana is no different.

The state’s handle has decreased by almost 20% since March’s $316 million high.

The spring and summer months are typically slower, but Indiana has a few advantages over other sports betting states.

Indy 500 wagers stimulate handle

First and foremost, there’s the Indy 500.

Since it’s an event unique to Indiana, the state’s sports betting market gets to benefit from the extra traffic.

Whether that’s traveling fans betting while they’re in town or Hoosiers wagering on the race from home, the event seems to create some extra gambling interest.

IndyCar’s numbers get lumped into the “other” category on the state’s monthly Indiana sports betting revenue reports.

The category includes everything that isn’t football, basketball, baseball, or a parlay.

That makes it impossible to know exactly how much money gamblers wagered on the big race.

Despite that, we can still take notice of the change in that “other” section’s numbers.

The category was sitting at $50.4 million worth of wagers in April. That number went up to $51.5 million in May.

The 500 took place in August last year thanks to the pandemic.

August 2020’s “other” category increased by about $3 million from the previous month.

The $1.1 million increase was smaller this year, but that might just be due to less gambling on golf and other similar sports.

Again, there’s no way to know how much of that “other” handle came from the Indy 500, but there’s a strong chance that the greatest spectacle in racing was a big part of the movement.

Pacers and NBA Playoffs boost basketball handle

The 500 might have helped Indiana’s handle, but basketball is still king in the Hoosier State.

The sport racked up $82 million worth of wagers throughout May.

Hoops hysteria accounted for over 32% of the state’s entire handle.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular sports for betting during May:

  1. Basketball: $82.3 million
  2. Baseball: $50.5 million
  3. Parlay: $62 million
  4. Other: $51.5 million
  5. Football: $1.4 million

Basketball’s popularity was fueled by betting on the NBA Playoffs.

The Indiana Pacers didn’t manage to slide into the postseason, but the team’s play-in tournament game likely generated some extra betting volume for the state.

The playoffs will be taking place throughout July, which should lead to a nice handoff into Olympic betting later this summer.

New sports betting apps come to Indiana

Sporting events helped boost Indiana’s May handle, but so did new online sportsbook launches.

The state’s market grows more competitive with every new betting app that launches in the state.

Betway and Barstool entering the mix means that there are now a dozen Indiana online sportsbooks active in the state.

Barstool Sportsbook launches in Indiana

Barstool Sportsbook made its highly-anticipated debut on May 18.

Since it launched in the middle of the month, the betting app only had two weeks worth of runway to get off the ground.

Despite that, Barstool still managed to rack up $6.3 million worth of wagers during that time. That led to $267,000 worth of revenue for the company.

WynnBET was the most recent sportsbook to launch in Indiana before Barstool entered the picture.

During it’s first full month, WynnBet pulled in a $400,000 handle and $47,000 worth of revenue.

In other words, Barstool vastly outperformed WynnBet’s numbers in half the time post-launch.

Brand recognition goes a long way when it comes to sportsbook popularity, and Barstool is certainly a well-known entity.

The sportsbook is off to a strong start, but it still has a long way to go before it’s competitive with the market leaders.

Betway caps off May Indiana sports betting

Betway’s May 28 launch wrapped up Indiana’s sports betting calendar for the month.

Hoosiers wagered $250 with the sportsbook last month.

Since the app was only available for a few days, we’ll have to wait for the next batch of revenue numbers to get a real sense of how the company’s debut went. Indiana will release that next set of data on July 12.

New sportsbooks making their way to Indiana gives Hoosiers more gambling options than ever before.

Betway might be the most recent sportsbook to come to Indiana this year, but it won’t be the last.

The following sportsbooks are already on their way to the state:

  • SBK Sportsbook
  • 888Sport
  • fubo Sportsbook
  • MaximBet
  • PlayUp

FanDuel tops Indiana sportsbook revenue

FanDuel has been Indiana’s best-performing sportsbook this year.

The company has racked up nearly $25 million of revenue since the start of 2021.

FanDuel has the slight lead over DraftKings, which has made around $21 million this year.

FanDuel is leading in revenue despite DraftKings dominating the overall handle in the state.

Hoosiers have wagered over $500 million with DraftKings so far this year.

That’s noticeably higher than FanDuel’s 2021 handle, which is sitting at about $400 million.

DraftKings is taking more bets, but FanDuel is making more money. It’s a trend worth keeping an eye on over the course of the next few months.

The other notable cahnge in the state’s market is Barstool’s strong debut.

The sportsbook was only available for half of May, and it still managed to generate a $6.3 million handle. That makes Barstool the seventh-most popular betting app in Indiana.

The company’s handle was on pace to hit over $12 million if it had been operating for a full month in Indiana.

$12 million worth of bets would have made Barstool the state’s fourth-most popular sportsbook, trailing only DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.

With a full month of wagering under its belt, it looks like Barstool will be claiming that position once June’s numbers are released.

But how long will it be before the company grabs a spot on the sports betting podium?

Since BetMGM’s May handle was around $29 million, it’ll still be miles ahead of Barstool’s potential $12 million haul.

It might not be one of the top players in the market yet, but Barstool is still in position to immediately elbow its way past the majority of the competition in Indiana.

Indiana sports betting here to stay

New operator arrivals show that Indiana’s market is still growing.

The summer months might produce a lower betting handle overall, but all of these new options could lead to some record numbers once the next football season gets underway.

Regardless of the future outlook, May’s $254 million handle shows the resilience of Indiana’s market.

Michigan now has a large industry after joining the sports betting party last year. Illinois is now the second biggest market in the entire country.

Indiana is holding its own despite the growing competition next door.

With over $3.5 billion worth of wagers since 2019, Indiana sports betting is here is to stay for the long haul.

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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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