Indiana Sports Betting Handle Zooms Along As Neighboring States Waver

Posted on November 19, 2019 - Last Updated on December 10, 2019

Indiana sports betting handle hit $91.7 million in October, which was largely driven by two factors: online betting and slow-moving Illinois.

Indiana legalized sports betting in May, opened retail betting before the start of the NFL season and launched online sports betting in October.

Illinois, meanwhile, legalized sports betting as part of a massive gaming expansion bill in June. But so far, there’s been little action. Sports betting applications are expected to go live next month, but there still aren’t firm rules or regulations.

That slow movement helped boost Indiana’s October sports betting handle 160% over September.

Chicago bettors head to Indiana

It’s obvious that bettors from the Chicago market are contributing significantly to Indiana sports betting handle.

Two casinos that sit 30 miles or less from downtown Chicago took two of the top three spots for retail sports betting handle in October.

Horseshoe Hammond, about 18 miles away from downtown, led with $10.8 million in handle. Ameristar Casino, about 30 miles away, took third with $6.8 million in handle.

Indiana sports betting handle will likely see this benefit well into next year, especially if Illinois requires in-person online registration. That would mean someone would have to drive to an Illinois casino to create a mobile betting account.

For some, it would likely be easier to drive into Indiana, download the app of their choice and begin betting almost immediately.

Another circumstance benefitting Indiana is the delayed timeline of a possible Chicago-area casino due to a disagreement on tax rates.

No Sports Betting in Ohio has helped too

While Chicago helped boost the first and third retail books in the state based on handle, Ohio helped out the second-place sportsbook.

Horseshoe Lawrenceburg, which is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati, took in $6.9 million in bets in October.

Chatter about legalizing sports betting in Ohio has started up again with Gov. Mike DeWine hoping to approve a bill before next year’s elections.

Online betting handle in Indiana should ramp up in November

There are only three online sportsbooks operating in the Indiana sports betting market currently, but one of those should see large gains in November.

FanDuel Sportsbook launched toward the end of October and only handled $2.4 million in bets in the month. Most likely, FanDuel will take market share quickly, just as it has in other states.

DraftKings Sportsbook led all operators with $39.3 million in online handle, or 43% of total handle. BetRivers, which also launched at the beginning of the month with DraftKings, had $6.3 million in handle.

There are more online launches expected eventually, including PointsBet, which hopes to be live before the Super Bowl in February. All of these players point to continued revenue growth in the Indiana sports betting market for the foreseeable future.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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