Indiana Gaming Win Climbs 7% In October With Addition Of Sports Betting

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Sports betting is already helping propel Indiana’s overall casino gambling market.

According to figures made public Friday from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the state’s casinos won $178.63 mm from table games and slots/electronic gaming devices. Additionally, the casino industry won $10.62 mm from sports wagering. Combined, that’s about $189.25 mm in gaming win.

In October 2018, sans sports betting, the industry generated $176.91 mm in revenue. The year-over-year increase was about 7%, which is incredibly meaningful for Indiana’s market.

The state hasn’t had a month that successful in terms of year-over-year gaming win growth since January 2015, per data from the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Research.

Indiana’s casino industry has been sluggish for years thanks to gaming expansion in neighboring states. In an effort to grow revenues and increase tax monies to state offers, the Indiana Legislature earlier this year passed a gaming expansion package that lawmakers called a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Closer look

Gaming across the board was up in October in a year-over-year comparison.

October 2018 saw $28.44 mm in table game win, less than the $28.53 mm in winnings from last month, state figures show. Slot/EGD revenue was also up, growing to $150.10 mm from $148.47 mm during the same month last year. The positive numbers for tables and the machines follow a September when table game win grew but slot revenue was down slightly.

Indiana’s first retail books opened Sept. 1, with additional openings coming to fruition in the following days and weeks. Total gaming win was up about 2% in September.

The major takeaway here is that sports betting, including online/mobile, isn’t cannibalizing existing table game and machine revenue. The sports betting amenity, just like a poker room, doesn’t mean a boon for other casino offerings, but the lack of cannibalization is important to note as other states consider legalizing sports wagering next year and beyond.

$3-billion market on the horizon?

In 2011, prior to the emergence of Ohio’s casino industry, Indiana’s gaming market was worth $2.72 billion. It was $2.25 billion last year, according to the American Gaming Association.

Indiana has the potential to see about $400 mm in additional gaming revenue from a mature sports wagering market, according to a 2017 study from Oxford Economics. Additionally, a new casino in Vigo County is expected to generate around $100 mm in annual gaming revenue. Local voters approved the casino ballot question this week in a big win for west central Indiana.

Furthermore, the gaming expansion package included the authorization of live dealer table games at a pair of racinos, and the relocation of a casino license in Northwest Indiana to a more desirable location in Gary. The new property will be called Hard Rock Casino Gary.

Indiana, like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, may also look into online casino authorization in the near future. DraftKings and FanDuel, both of which are currently offering online/mobile sports wagering in the Hoosier State, offer online casino gambling in New Jersey.

The Indiana gaming expansion package included other industry-friendly tweaks to existing law.

It could be a matter of time before Indiana is able to reach the levels it saw earlier this decade. However, Ohio and Michigan are both moving the ball down the field on sports wagering, and neighboring Illinois recently expanded its gaming industry with additional casinos and sports wagering.

There’s stiff competition for gaming dollars in the Midwest. The good thing for Indiana is that it implemented an industry-friendly tax rate of less than 10% for sports wagering, while its neighbors have either enacted or are considering significantly higher rates. Indiana could be poised to have the most competitive iCasino market in the region as well.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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