Indiana casinos and their sports betting apps won a combined $148,557,452 last month, according to state figures for the industry made public Friday.
That revenue total, though, was off more than $55 million compared to the $203,572,543 won in February 2020. The decline was 27%, the worst for the state since June 2020.
Last month, the casinos won $131,601,548 from table games and slot machines, while the retail and online mobile sportsbooks won $16,955,904. Sports betting win was up year-over-year from $11,092,752, but casino win plummeted from $192,479,791.
The reason is obvious: COVID-19.
Indiana casino win was down 25% in 2020 to $1,624,585,974 due to the virus. Online sports betting helped a bit, especially when the casinos were closed, but it wasn’t enough.
Hoosier State casino win should recover during the warmer summer months, especially as more people are vaccinated. Time will tell how long it will take for the market to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
In an effort to turn fortunes around for the casinos, Gov. Eric Holcomb this week allowed them to serve food and drinks to people playing slot machines. Gamblers may also smoke while playing a slot machine. Statewide slot revenue was down 30% year-over-year last month.
Fortunately for Indiana, the March Madness tournament will be played in the Hoosier State, which will be great for the sportsbooks. There should also be gains for slots and table games.
This year, lawmakers briefly considered legislation to legalize online casino gambling, but it failed to advance. The bill should be considered next year.
Additional Las Vegas-style casinos are also in the process of being constructed in the Hoosier State, and when they open it should help reverse the market’s overall decline. Sports betting is expected to continue growing annually in the state.