Indiana Sports Betting Handle Spikes To Record $313.1M In December

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Indiana closed 2020 on a four-month run of record sports betting handles after the Indiana Gaming Commission on Tuesday reported that $313.1 million worth of wagers were made in December.

The figure was nearly 25% higher compared to November’s previous standard of $251.4 million. Indiana has been jockeying with newcomer Colorado for the No. 5 overall spot in handle among states with legalized sports wagering, and handle in the Hoosier State has climbed nearly 51% since September, when Indiana generated $207.45 million and crossed the $200-million threshold for the first time.

The 11 casinos and racinos generated $24.3 million in sportsbook revenue, the second-highest recorded since bets started being accepted in September 2019, and just behind November’s total of $25.3 million. Operators had a win rate of 7.76% — well off November’s 10.08% mark — but the surge in handle resulted in little falloff in terms of dollars accrued.

Indiana tax coffers were also the beneficiary of the handle increase, collecting more than $2.3 million off those sportsbook revenues. In its first full year of operation the state generated $13.17 million in taxes off $138.63 million in sportsbook revenues as nearly $1.77 billion in wagers were made — despite the COVID-19 pandemic — in 2020.

DraftKings hits nine figures in mobile handle

The mobile handle in December was slightly more than $263 million, which would have been an overall record by itself. It represented 84% of the overall handle, which was a small dip from the 85% of November’s total handle.

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DraftKings, which had been flirting with reaching the $100-million mark the past two months, finally hit that mark in December as it led all mobile operators in the state with a handle of $112.68 million. That was an increase of 18.4% from the $95.2 million in wagers accepted in November, and the Boston-based operator accounted for 42.8% of the mobile handle generated in the state.

Though FanDuel was a distant second in mobile handle at $78.16 million, that was a 21.8% improvement on November’s figures of $64.19 million. BetMGM rounded out the top three performers, finishing just shy of $41 million. It was, though, a 61.8% increase from November’s total of $25.33 million and more than double October’s handle of slightly more than $20 million.

PointsBet edged out BetRivers for fourth, with the Australian-based sportsbook claiming just under $11.4 million in handle to BetRivers’ total of $10.6 million. Fellow mobile operators William Hill ($4.16 million), theScore ($2.84 million) and Unibet ($1.36 million) also reached seven figures in handle.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg the hotspot for retail betting

Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg was the only retail sportsbook in Indiana to clear $10 million in handle, reporting $12 million in bets as it outperformed its mobile operator PointsBet for the second consecutive month. Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, just over the Illinois state line, nearly reached eight figures as it accepted more than $9.5 million.

Horseshoe Hammond, also in close vicinity to the Illinois border, generated just under $7.25 million in bets, and Belterra Casino placed fourth at $4.73 million. Bettors at Belterra, though, fared quite well as the sportsbook paid out nearly $5.3 million in winning bets, resulting in a win rate of -11.9% at the counter. In contrast, Ameristar posted a win rate of 17.6% and collected more than $1.67 million in-person.

Football continued to be a primary driver of handle with $101.8 million in wagers placed. Basketball, though, was a strong second as bettors dropped $89.7 million worth of bets. The allure of parlays and potential big-money payouts continued, accounting for more than one-quarter of the handle at nearly $79.2 million.

The catch-all category of “other,” which includes soccer, golf, MMA, and hockey, had a handle of $41.5 million listed.

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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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