Indiana Sports Betting Sees $35 Million In Handle In First Month

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In the first month of legal sports betting, Indiana sportsbooks took in $35.2 mm in handle and generated $813,103 in tax revenue, according to a report released by the Indiana Gaming Commission Thursday morning. Indiana went live with sports betting on Sept. 1, just in time for the first game of the 2019-20 NFL season — which included the Chicago Bears. Ten sportsbooks are operating within the state, and the Horseshoe Hammond in suburban Chicago led all sportsbooks in handle at $8.9 mm.

Unsurprisingly, football was king in the inaugural month, with bettors placing $20.7 mm in wagers on the NFL and college football. The next most popular wager was parlays at $9.8 mm in handle, followed by baseball at $3.44 mm, “other” at $449k, and basketball at $120k.

Overall, state sportsbooks brought in $8.56 mm in taxable revenue (there’s a 9.5% tax rate). The September revenue report reflects sports betting at physical locations only — the state’s first mobile app went live just last week when Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers.com launched on Oct. 3. DraftKings launched its app later on the same day.

Indiana third-biggest state to launch

Indiana was the second state to legalize sports betting in 2019, and took only four months from approval to launch. Iowa was even quicker, legalizing in mid-May and launching in the middle of August. All eyes were on both states, as Indiana is the third biggest state by population behind Pennsylvania and New Jersey to go live with sports betting since the Professional and Amatuer Sports Protection Act was struck down in May 2018. In addition, Illinois, which legalized in June, is nowhere close to launching, and the Hoosier State is doing its best to take advantage of Illinoisans wanting to wager.

In fact, in the public comments released by the Illinois Gaming Board last week, one citizen wrote, “Mobile betting needs to be done ASAP to keep up with states around us. I’ll be making the drive to Indiana in the meantime.”

Those in Indiana avidly placed bets across the state. Here’s a look at how much was wagered where:

According to the report, handle from Harrah’s Hoosier Park also includes handle from its OTBs in Indianapolis and New Haven, while handle from Indiana Grand includes bets placed at its Clarksville OTB.

Besides the 10 sportsbooks that are live, three others, the Majestic Star, Majestic Star II, and Rising Star casinos are listed on the report, bringing the total that should be open in Indiana this fall to 13.

With the launch of mobile and online wagering this month, the expectation is that Indiana’s handle should rise dramatically with the October report. As a comparison, New Jersey has reported as much as 80% of its total monthly handle from online/mobile sports betting. Indiana is one of only a handful of states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and nearby Iowa, that offer statewide mobile.

Reporting by Jill Dorson.

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Jill R. Dorson

Jill has covered everything from steeplechase to the NFL and then some during a more than 30-year career in sports journalism. The highlight of her career was covering Oakland Raiders during the Charles Woodson/Jon Gruden era, including the infamous “Snow Bowl” and the Raiders’ 2003 trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. Her specialty these days is covering sports betting legislation across the country.

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