Indiana Sports Betting Handle Skyrockets But Tax Revenue Dips

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A greater availability of mobile sports betting contributed to a substantially larger handle in the month of November in the state of Indiana, but a lower hold and adjustments resulted in less tax revenue pouring into the state’s coffers according to figures released Tuesday by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The Hoosier State reported an overall handle of $147.28 million, a 60.6% increase from October’s $91.7 mm. Tax revenues, however, dipped to $883,361, which was 19.4% lower than the previous month’s $1.09 mm generated on the state’s 9.5% tax rate on sports betting.

The state’s nine casinos and two racinos — Rising Star Casino opened its sportsbook on Nov. 11 — had a hold of just 6.31% in November, well off October’s 12.58%. There were also collective adjustments resulting in a net loss of $1.3 mm in adjustable gross revenue compared to a net gain of $909,053 in October.

Indiana has collected nearly $2.8 mm in tax revenue since sports betting began Sept. 1.

Mobile sports betting grows in scope and popularity

For the first time since sports betting became legal in Indiana, all three mobile offerings — DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers — were operational for a full month of reporting. They accounted for $96.2 mm of the November handle, which outpaced the state’s overall October figure.

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The most notable contributions to the increase came with FanDuel operating for a full month in conjunction with Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City and DraftKings with Ameristar Casino in East Chicago. FanDuel had an online handle of $23.7 mm. Blue Chip had an overall handle of just under $28.2 mm and hold of 7.02%, which resulted in its tax revenue contribution more than doubling to $188,170, the second-highest total overall after finishing fourth among casinos and fifth overall in October with $85,816.

“We are pleased with the positive growth we have seen during our first full month of online operations in Indiana,” FanDuel said in a statement. “In November, Indiana customers got a look at the market-leading FanDuel Sportsbook’s generous promotions, best-in-class app, and unique sports betting gameplay.

“We look forward to experiencing College Bowl Season, NBA during the holidays, and the remainder of the NFL season with our new Indiana customers, as well as out-of-state bettors venturing to Indiana.”

DraftKings remained Indiana’s most popular mobile sports betting platform, contributing over $64 mm to Ameristar’s overall November handle of $72.07 mm — easily the highest amount in the state — as the casino’s overall handle clicked 64% higher month over month. DraftKings, which went live Oct. 2, reported a handle of $39.7 mm in the previous month.

Ameristar had a 5.99% overall hold in November and contributed $410,000 in tax revenues, accounting for 46.4% of the state’s overall haul.

BetRivers, which is connected to the French Lick Casino, saw a handle increase of nearly 34% to just under $8.4 mm online in November compared to $6.26 mm in October. The in-person sportsbook also saw a substantial increase in its handle, up nearly 57% to $1.24 mm, that coincided with the opening of the Valley Tower and Valley Sports Bar in mid-November.

Horseshoe Hammond, Hollywood Lawrenceburg see sizable upticks

Among the casinos not affiliated with mobile sports betting platforms, both the Horseshoe Hammond Casino and Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg reported notable increases in their respective handles month over month. The Horseshoe Hammond’s handle rose more than 21% to $12.96 mm, the most of any of the six retail casinos, while Hollywood Casino had the highest percentage increase (26.9%) to its monthly handle and brought in $8.79 mm.

Caesars Southern Indiana (14%) and Belterra (13.3%) also saw substantial increases in their respective handles to $1.41 mm and $920,344, respectively. The Tropicana Casino in Evansville had a more modest 2.46% increase in its November handle and cleared the $2 mm mark.

Hollywood Casino also reported the best hold among the in-person sportsbook casinos operating for the entire month at 9.8%, with Belterra (9.56%) and Ameristar (9.2%) the only other listings above 9%. Rising Star Casino had an 18.2% hold on its $110,300 handle in its small reporting period after opening.

Racinos show positive yet mixed results

Indiana’s two racinos, Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand, had positive month-on-month growth despite mixed results. Hoosier Park’s sports betting handle increased 13.2% to $6.97mm, fueled by a sharp 47% increase at the Winner’s Circle in New Haven to $1.66 mm and a 17.1% uptick to $2.07 mm at its retail sportsbook. HHP’s Winner’s Circle in Indianapolis was nearly flat compared to October with a $3.23 mm handle but had a 9.5% hold.

Indiana Grand saw its in-person sportsbook handle dip nearly 9.7% to $1.42 mm, but its Winner’s Circle outlet in Clarksville spiked 26.7% to $2.77 mm compared to October’s figure of $2.19 mm.

Football and parlays prove most popular betting types

Football betting was again the primary driver of the Indiana handle, rising 40.6% to $57.7 mm in November compared to $41.05 mm in October. It was however, a lower percentage of the overall bets made at 39.7% in contrast to 45.4% the previous month.

More money was plunked down on parlays, with the $38.66 mm wagered representing an increase of nearly 90% from last month’s $20.38 mm. Betting on basketball narrowly trailed parlay betting, accounting for $33.62 mm in the first full month of the NBA season and the start of college basketball.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Chris Altruda

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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