Indiana Clears $6 Billion In All-Time Handle With Strong December

Bettors bounced back from a rough November, with December hold rate the lowest in state history
Indiana December 2021 revenue report
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Indiana became the fifth state to surpass $6 billion in all-time sports betting handle in the post-PASPA era, closing the 2021 ledger with just over $463 million wagered in December, according to figures released Wednesday by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The Hoosier State joins New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, and Pennsylvania in that select circle, with the post-PASPA era for wagering starting in June 2018. December’s handle narrowly missed bettering November’s all-time mark, finishing $669,126 short. Overall, bettors in Indiana wagered more than $3.8 billion on sporting events in 2021, more than double the $1.8 billion in a pandemic-affected 2020.

After being taken to the cleaners in November by operators, who posted a record $47.7 million in revenue, the public hit back and cut that figure nearly in half to $25.8 million. The 5.6% hold is the lowest reported operator win rate in any of the 28 months Indiana has conducted sports wagering since launching in September 2019.

But don’t feel too bad for Indiana operators, who had an otherwise solid 2021. They generated just over $306 million in revenue for the year with a hold just shy of 8%, which resulted in slightly more than $29 million in tax receipts for the state. Tax receipts in December added up to more than $2.4 million.

Caesars nearly pips BetMGM for third in handle

Mobile handle represented 91.3% of the overall handle in December, an all-time high in terms of percentage for any month that didn’t have pandemic-induced casino closures. More than $3.4 billion was wagered via online and mobile in 2021, with DraftKings and FanDuel accounting for 67.2% of that total with close to $2.3 billion.

While DraftKings and FanDuel kept their spots atop monthly mobile handle and revenue, respectively, Caesars came within $917,869 of topping BetMGM for third in handle. It was the third straight month Caesars cleared $40 million in wagers, with the $48.9 million an all-time high.

Overall, seven mobile operators cleared $10 million in handle, while six surpassed $1 million in revenue. Barstool Sportsbook fended off BetRivers to claim fifth in both categories, reaching the $1 million mark in revenue for the third time in four months.

Bally’s, which became the 13th mobile operator to take wagers with its Dec. 16 launch, had $130,952 in handle and $44,874 in revenue.

Seven mobile books cleared $100 million handle in 2021, with Barstool reaching the nine-figure mark in seven-plus months of operation. DraftKings, which has led handle in every month since Indiana began mobile wagering, finished with more than $1.3 billion in wagers, while FanDuel finished less than $11 million shy of $1 billion.

FanDuel was the top revenue generator for the year with close to $95.5 million, followed by DraftKings ($79.9 million) and BetMGM ($39.2 million) for the other podium spots. Caesars ($12.5 million) beat out PointsBet ($12 million) for fourth, and they were the only other online operators to reach $10 million in revenue.

Checking out the retail side

While retail handle was flat month-over-month at $40.2 million, the retail win rate plunged nearly 10 full percentage points to 8.5%, compared to November’s 18.4% hold. Retail revenue totaled more than $3.4 million in December versus the nearly $7.5 million in November.

Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg continued to be the pacesetter in both handle and revenue. Its nearly $13.9 million in wagers allowed it to finish the year with more than $125 million handle, and it was the only retail book to reach seven figures in December with $1.5 million. The sportsbook, situated near the Ohio and Kentucky borders, reported just over $17 million in 2021 revenue and accounted for 46.3% of casino retail sportsbook revenue in Indiana.

Bettors fared well at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, limiting the racetrack to a 1% win rate and $14,111 in revenue on more than $1.4 million wagered. For the year, the state’s two tracks and three Winner’s Circle locations combined for more than $70 million in handle and just shy of $8.5 million in revenue.

The Winner’s Circle in Clarksville accounted for more than half the totals for both handle ($36.6 million) and revenue ($5.1 million). The 12.1% hold on wagers made at the tracks and OTBs was slightly below the overall retail hold of 12.5%.

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

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