Indiana Sports Betting Handle Rebounds To $215.6 Million For August

Fueled by a sharp rise in parlay wagering, sports betting handle in the Hoosier State climbed back over $200 million for the month of August according to figures released by the Indiana Gaming Commission on Friday.
Indiana Sports Betting August 2021
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The Indiana Gaming Commission reported a sports betting handle of more than $215.6 million for August, fueled in part by increased parlay wagering.

August’s figure was 10.9% higher than July’s handle of nearly $194.5 million, which had marked the first time the Hoosier State finished below $200 million in handle since the sports schedule resumed in full following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $215.6 million wagered also represented a 27.6% improvement on the August 2020 handle of $169 million.

Revenue, however, dipped to $16.5 million in August, a 5.2% decrease versus July’s total of close to $17.5 million. Bettors had a better month versus the house last month as operators posted a 7.67% win rate, 1.3 points lower than July and more than one-half percentage point below the overall 2021 win rate of 8.2%.

The state received nearly $1.6 million in taxes from the August revenue accrued, raising the yearly total to more than $16.2 million. Sportsbook operators in Indiana have generated more than $171 million in 2021, nearly half the $351 million overall total since the first bets were placed in September 2019.

Parlay wagering accounts for nearly 40% of handle

The IGC does not break out revenue by sport but does list five major categories for handle: football, basketball, baseball, parlay, and the catch-all “other.” Parlay wagering in the Hoosier State had been consistent throughout 2021, representing approximately a quarter of the overall handle with nearly $456.7 million wagered in the first seven months of the year.

August, however, could be a harbinger of things to come as more sportsbooks are offering more robust parlay options for bettors. They placed more than $82.3 million worth of parlay bets in September, 81.7% higher than July’s total of $45.3 million, and representing 38.2% of the overall handle.

Among the eight states — which include neighboring Illinois and national leader New Jersey — that publish parlay figures in their monthly revenue reports, no state had parlay handle account for even 30% of its overall handle in the first seven months of the year.

Online pecking order stays constant at top

DraftKings maintained its crown as the top handle generator in convincing fashion, accepting more than $74.2 million in wagers in August — a 23.3% increase month over month. But FanDuel came out atop the operator revenue list for the fourth straight month, collecting more than $4.9 million from $52.6 million bet compared to DraftKings’ haul of $4.4 million.

BetMGM claimed the last podium spots in both categories, posting a 9.62% win rate to reap more than $2.5 million in revenue from close to $26.2 million wagered. William Hill’s last month as mobile tether to Tropicana Evansville ahead of its logistical transfer to Harrah’s Hoosier Park was a good one as the Caesars Sportsbook placed fourth in handle ($16.9 million) and revenue ($977,286).

Barstool Sportsbook rounded out the top five in online handle with nearly $8.6 million, but its 4.05% win rate on those wagers pushed Barstool down to seventh in revenue among operators with $347,062. PointsBet ($547,087) placed fifth in revenue, followed by BetRivers ($409,812).

TwinSpires posted its highest monthly handle since launching as BetAmerica in December 2019 — when it became the fourth mobile operator to begin taking bets in Indiana — as it accepted more than $1.3 million worth of wagers in August. The Churchill Downs Inc.-operated sportsbook had generated just $1.2 million in handle in all of 2020 but recorded its fourth consecutive month with at least $500,000 in handle.

Two mobile operators, theScore and BetWay, finished in the red. TheScore, recently acquired by Penn National Gaming, paid out $28,776 more than the over $1.8 million in bets accepted, while BetWay paid out $5,081 more than the $301,696 generated in handle.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg continues to rule retail roost

Retail operators had an overall solid month, posting a 12.02% win rate to collect nearly $2.5 million on $20.4 million wagered. Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg paced both handle and revenue at $5.6 million and more than $959,000, respectively, while recording a 17.09% win rate.

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago and Horseshoe Hammond — both within an hour’s drive of Chicago — were the only other casinos to reach seven figures in handle and combined for nearly $6.1 million worth of wagers. Horseshoe claimed nearly $300,000 in revenue while Ameristar barely cleared $250,000.

The state’s two horse racing tracks — Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park — and three off-track betting locations totaled more than $6.3 million in handle and $566,000 in revenue. The Winner’s Circle in Clarksville paced both categories, accepting nearly $2.1 million in wagers and claiming $191,168 from bettors.

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