Indiana Sports Betting Handle Under $200M For First Time In 11 Months

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The Indiana Gaming Commission reported a July sports betting handle of nearly $194.5 million on Thursday, marking the first time in 11 months sportsbook operators in the Hoosier State failed to accept at least $200 million worth of wagers.

It was the lowest handle for the state since $169 million was wagered in August 2020, which was the last month before the sports schedule could offer full inventory for wagering following the COVID-19 pandemic. July’s handle represented a 21% drop from June’s total of $246.3 million, and the $51.8 million month-over-month decline in dollars bet was the most since a $74.3 million dip from January to February this year. Neither dip would be unexpected, considering the winter slowdown due to the lack of NFL inventory and the summer is normally a slow time for sportsbooks.

Despite the sharp drop, July’s handle was enough to make Indiana the fifth state in the post-PASPA era to clear $4 billion in handle, joining New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois in that select club.

Operators again had a strong month against bettors, canceling out some of the severity of the decline in handle. The house posted a win rate of 8.97% for July, which is second-highest in 2021 behind June’s 10.34% hold. That led to nearly $17.5 million in revenue, which was good for the ninth-best monthly total since launching in September 2019, despite a 31.5% decline from June’s total of over $25.6 million.

The state collected close to $1.7 million in tax receipts from that revenue, raising the total for the year to nearly $14.7 million. Operators have claimed close to $154.5 million in revenue, more than 3.5 times the $43.8 million generated during the first seven months of 2020. Handle has also easily outpaced last year’s pandemic-affected sum, with bettors placing nearly $1.9 billion worth of wagers in the first seven months of 2021 compared to $596.8 million in 2020.

Baseball was the top handle driver with more than $63.5 million wagered, while the catch-all “other” category — which for Indiana includes golf, boxing, and mixed martial arts among other events — was second with nearly $53.8 million. Parlay wagering accounted for more than $45.3 million, raising its total for the year to nearly $456.7 million.

FanDuel extends run as top online revenue generator

FanDuel has yet to be the top online handle generator in Indiana in any single month, but it beat out DraftKings for the No. 1 revenue spot for the third straight month with nearly $5.3 million. Its 9.74% hold on $54.3 million helped create a spread of more than $555,000. DraftKings posted more than $4.7 million in revenue from $60.2 million bet for a 7.87% hold.

FanDuel has generated more than $47.6 million in revenue in the Hoosier State in 2021, some $6 million more than DraftKings despite generating 19.1% less handle. DraftKings has accepted more than $638 million in bets compared to $516.4 million for FanDuel.

BetMGM claimed the other podium spot in both categories in July, generating close to $25.6 million in handle and just shy of $2.2 million in revenue. It was the only other online operator to clear $1 million in revenue. The newly rebranded Caesars Sportsbook had a stark month-to-month contrast on its bottom line: Though it again finished fourth in handle at $7.9 million, its hold of 2.89% resulted in just $228,927 in revenue — a 92.4% drop from its record June total of slightly more than $3 million.

Barstool Sportsbook, PointsBet, and BetRivers were tightly packed for the fifth through seventh spots in handle, with the three separated by barely more than $300,000. It also marked the first time Australian-based PointsBet was not in the top five for handle in Indiana since launching in March 2020. The off month for Caesars allowed the trio to occupy the fourth through sixth slots for revenue, with PointsBet the best of the bunch at $747,400 on the strength of a 10.69% win rate.

WynnBET reached six figures in monthly revenue for the first time since its April launch, claiming $109,614, while the state’s most recent entrant — Betway — saw bettors claim $35,592 in winnings from $30,593 worth of wagers.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg delivers big for retail revenue

Long the top retail generator in Indiana thanks in part to its proximity to two states without sports wagering available — Ohio and Kentucky — Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg also packed a revenue punch in July. The $1.2 million in profit represented 46.8% of the overall retail sports wagering revenue in July and 62.2% of the total generated at casino sportsbooks. Hollywood’s 20.49% win rate for July trailed only the 23.09% hold posted in its first month of operation in September 2019.

Overall, the retail hold was a robust 12.97% on nearly $20 million wagered, but sports bettors who made a day of it at the races bucked that trend. Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park had a combined 3.89% win rate on $1.3 million wagered, in contrast to the 13.36% hold on the $4.4 million bet spanning the Winner’s Circle locations in Indianapolis, Clarksville, and New Haven.

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Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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