Indiana Sports Betting Handle In October Nearly Doubles September’s Wagers

Posted on November 8, 2019 - Last Updated on November 15, 2019

For people watching the Indiana legal sports betting industry who thought September’s total wagers were impressive, October said, “Hold my beer.” Indiana sports betting handle for the month of October grew nearly 200%.

All of the legal sportsbooks in the state took in over $91.7 million in bets during October. That came out to $11.5 million in revenue for the 13 licensees operating during the month.

Indiana sports betting handle paced by DraftKings

The launching of sports betting apps in Indiana during October contributed to the large increase in total wagers. DraftKings led the way in that regard, accounting for nearly half of the sports betting action for the month. BetRivers and FanDuel also contributed, but not nearly to the same degree. Here’s a look at those numbers.

  • DraftKings brought in a whopping $39.3 million in handle in October. This number is reflected in Ameristar Casino’s total handle in the table below.
  • BetRivers, which launched its mobile sportsbook through French Lick Casino on the same day as DraftKings, didn’t perform nearly as well. It accounted for $6.3 million in bets.
  • FanDuel was late to the party, launching through Blue Chip Casino on Oct. 22. In its limited days in October, FanDuel took in $2.4 million in wagers.

Similar brand recognition that helped DraftKings get off to a solid start should help FanDuel perform better in November. DraftKings’ popularity acted as a buoy for more than its own coffers, though.

Prime conditions for DraftKings in October

The Ameristar Casino, which provided the path into Indiana for DraftKings, led all licensees with a total of $46.7 million in total handle from its mobile and retail operations. Ameristar also benefitted from its proximity to the Chicago metro.

Although Illinois has legalized sports betting, the state has yet to approve licenses. The effects of out-of-state betting were felt in October by more than just Ameristar.

Horseshoe Hammond led all retail sportsbooks with $10.8 million in bets placed. It’s fair to say that if Chicagoans didn’t have to cross the state line to place wagers, that amount would have been far less.

CasinoHandleTotal Sports Betting Revenue (AGR)Taxes (9.5%)
Total$91,697,393$11,538,533$1,096,160
Ameristar Casino$46,169,268$5,025,625$477,434
Belterra Casino$812,130$154,112$14,641
Blue Chip Casino$6,927,143$903,326$85,816
Caesars Southern Indiana$1,240,408$150,844$14,330
French Lick Resort$7,057,675$554,653$52,692
Harrah's Hoosier Park*$6,158,916$1,053,569$100,089
Hollywood Lawrenceburg$6,925,496$1,107,068$105,171
Horseshoe Hammond$10,680,358$1,715,830$163,004
Indiana Grand**$3,763,183$505,740$48,045
Majestic Star000
Majestic Star II000
Rising Star Casino000
Tropicana Evansville$1,962,816$367,766$34,938

*Harrah’s Hoosier Park includes figures for Winner’s Circle OTBs in Indianapolis and New Haven.

**Indiana Grand includes figures for Winner’s Circle OTB in Clarksville.

A final factor which contributed to Indiana sportsbooks’ success was seasonality. For the sports betting market, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

College football, NFL, NBA, oh my!

While college football and the NFL were responsible for 45% of handle in October, the onset of the NBA season definitely helped. That points to more potential growth in November.

Not only will November see a full month of FanDuel operating its mobile sportsbook in the Hoosier State, but a full month of basketball as well. NBA is in full-swing and the college season has just begun.

FanDuel is unlikely to be content with the market share it had in October. That means a full-court press of marketing and promotions to entice bettors to try out its product.

This could be the new normal in Indiana into the new year. BetIndiana and PointsBet, likely the next mobile sportsbooks to launch in the Hoosier State, aren’t anticipating going live until Super Bowl Sunday.

That means an opportunity for BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel to gain a strong foothold in the Indiana mobile sports betting market. If those three brands can build up a loyal customer base over the next few months, they will be less affected by the launch of new competitors in early 2020.

Indiana sports betting, a win-win for the state coffers

Perhaps the biggest benefactor of the strong performance in October was the state’s treasury. Indiana collected over a million dollars in sports wagering tax for the month.

As November has the potential to be even more lucrative for everyone involved, November’s handle could make October’s look as paltry as October has made September’s numbers appear.

Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Derek Helling