Indiana Sports Betting Handle Reaches Third-Straight Record Month

Posted on December 10, 2020

Indiana set another sports betting record in November.

November’s $251 million worth of wagers was the third-straight record month for the state.

Football is still king with its $113 million handle, but college basketball is back to help boost the numbers.

With college football, the NFL, and college hoops all going on at the same time, Hoosiers had plenty of betting options to pick from in November.

Indiana’s November sports betting handle generated over $2.4 million worth of tax revenue, and $25 million worth of revenue for the sportsbooks themselves.

Indiana’s November 2020 sports betting handle

Here’s a look at where Indiana’s sports betting handle came from during November 2020:

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleGross RevenueState Tax
Ameristar East ChicagoDraftKings | theScore Bet$103,687,824$97,370,965$6,316,860$8,381,938$796,337
Blue ChipFanDuel$65,953,899$64,191,496$1,762,403$8,088,747$768,443
Hollywood LawrenceburgPointsBet$21,509,522$9,909,485$11,600,037$2,525,601$240,284
French LickBetRivers$10,945,519$10,319,202$626,317$708,366$64,576
Horseshoe HammondCaesars | Unibet$7,281,136$2,379,222$4,901,914$1,078,396$106,067
Tropicana EvansvilleWilliam Hill$5,530,411$4,046,457$1,483,954$838,439$79,637
Harrah's Hoosier Park$4,449,323$0$4,449,323$495,091$48,663
Indiana Grand$3,623,587$0$3,623,587$461,711$47,748
Caesars Southern Indiana$1,934,544$0$1,934,544$359,724$34,205
Rising StarBetAmerica$292,493$144,130$148,362$39,696$3,771

Hoosiers wager $1 billion on sports

Indiana residents wagered over $1 billion on sports in 2020 alone.

We won’t know the exact handle until December’s numbers are released next month, but the impressive totals through November tell most of the story.

Hoosiers bet over $1.2 billion on sports throughout 2020.

That massive handle is partly thanks to Indiana’s strong end of the year. The state racked up three-straight record months from September-November.

Those three months accounted for $689 million, which was over half of the state’s total 2020 handle so far.

It doesn’t hurt that the Colts, Indiana Hoosiers, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are all having standout seasons this year.

The Colts are battling for the AFC South title with the Titans, the Hoosiers are ranked in the top-10, and Notre Dame remains undefeated.

Seasons like those keep bettors engaged.

While the fall months were good for business, the rest of the year also pulled its weight.

Every month was a record sports betting month in Indiana until the pandemic flipped everything on its head. The state likely would have passed the $2 billion mark in 2020 if not for the millions of dollars in lost handle from March-July.

Regardless, Indiana’s lifetime sports betting handle will pass $2 billion next month. It’s already at about $1.9 billion.  

The strong numbers demonstrate just how much Hoosiers love betting on sports.

That huge level of interest for sports gambling is what leads to massive handles like these, and it’s also what keeps new companies interested in getting in on the action.

Indiana welcomes back basketball

Indiana’s love affair with basketball is a well-known one. Basketball was the most popular betting sport in the state until COVID-19 entered the picture.

With the winter months looming, basketball’s betting popularity is about to skyrocket.

November’s $17 million basketball handle was already a nice step up from October’s $10 million mark. It’s only going up from here.

College ball may have started its new season in November, but the timing wasn’t great.

The season began on Nov. 25, so Indiana’s handle only received a betting boost for those final few days of the month.

The NBA is going to be in a similar situation in December. The season starts up on Dec. 22, so there will only be a handful of days worth of NBA bets this month.

Although we’ll have to wait until January to see to full effects of the NBA, Indiana will at least get a full month of college basketball betting to help its handle out.

2021 could bring online casinos to Indiana

With 2020 winding down, all eyes are on the future.

Indiana lawmakers have already brought sports betting, casinos, horse racing and lottery games to the state. Online casinos are the next step.

Sen. Jon Ford is working on an iGaming bill that would create a legalized online casino market in Indiana.

That bill will be hitting the floor during the state’s first legislative session in 2021.

If things go well, Hoosiers might be able to play games like online blackjack sooner rather than later.

Online casinos are generally much more profitable than sports betting.

For example, sports betting has only created $14 million worth of tax revenue for Indiana since betting began in 2019. Sen. Ford estimates that online casinos could generate $45-60 million every year for the state.

Gamblers around the state will be hoping the bill makes its way into law, but there’s no way to know until 2021.

That first legislative session runs from January-April, so it might take some time before we start seeing results.

But regardless of how the bill does, online casinos are the natural next step for Indiana’s market. Whether they come from Sen. Ford’s bill or some other future legislation, it’s likely only a matter of time before legal online casinos make their way to Indiana.

Photo by Associated Press
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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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