Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP
The industry-wide bounce back for the US legal sports betting industry could be starting early if the August numbers out of Indiana are any indication. Indiana is known as one of America’s most reliable legal sports betting states. This has been despite a long and dry summer.
The August numbers were released by the Indiana Gaming Commission on Friday. It was the first time that the overall handle had increased in four months. While revenue dropped slightly, the overall increase in betting activity is almost certain to be a sign that Indiana has escaped the worst and that there are plans for a dramatic rise in sports betting. This also shows how vital the mere mention of football can have a positive impact on the US legal sports betting market.
“Even though preseason games are typically low-volume affairs, there was particular interest in the Colts this August because of the addition of quarterback Carson Wentz,” Nicole Russo, an analyst for PlayIndiana.com stated. “Add in a light schedule of college football, and there was just enough to draw a significant amount of football wagers. Still, September’s full college schedule and opening weeks of the NFL should dwarf anything we saw in August.”
“Even a little bit of football can make a big difference in a month,” Eric Ramsey, an analyst with the PlayUSA.com Network that includes PlayIndiana.com, said. “The schedule was still relatively light compared to the fall, but it is a great sign that August brought a nice bounce in wagering.”
Getting Into the Figures
The Indiana legal sports betting industry was bound to experience an increase in sports betting activity after bottoming out to its first sub-$200 million performance this year in August.
The Indiana sports betting scene saw $215.6 million spent at the state’s sportsbooks in August, which represents a 10.8% increase from the $194.5 million reported in July. From $5.5 million per hour in July, the daily betting average jumped to $7million in August.
August’s totals, while encouraging are nearly $135 million off the record $348.2 million handle reported in January.
Revenues, unfortunately, didn’t enjoy the same success as the overall handle in Indiana. Thanks to an underwhelming 7.6% hold, sportsbooks in the state made just $16.5 million in August – a 5.2% drop from the $17.4 million in July.
Profits from the sale were split $1.6million between the state and local coffers.
Indiana’s overall legal sports betting scene has traditionally been reliant on a stout mobile platform. Betting apps in August didn’t disappoint, delivering $195.2 million of the overall $215.6 million handle, or about 90.5%.
As far as sports go, it was baseball that drove Indiana’s overall sports betting handle. Baseball had $68.3million in bets. Football was in the top-5 for only the second time since February. Football contributed $13.9million. “Other sports” This included Olympics, was responsible for $43.1million.
Parlays was the overall winner in Indiana for handle drivers in August. Parlays were used in Indiana in August for $82.4 Million.
At the End of the Day…
Indiana has come through the worst of COVID-19 and the summer in decent shape. Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana.com commented that: “With the pandemic, sports betting has not always traveled the smoothest road. Still, Indiana’s industry is maturing more quickly than anyone could have expected, especially considering the obstacles. And the growth is not done. Expect more revenue and wagering records to fall over the next few months.”
It has been 24 months since Indiana went live with its platform and the total numbers are impressive. The state has wagered $4.3 billion so far. $351.3 million has been reported in sports betting revenue. In just two years, the state and local coffers received $33.4 million in tax benefits.
Indiana’s legal sports betting scene is about to experience an immense explosion with the start of the NFL season. Numbers will explode when the basketball season begins. Expect some competition for Indiana’s top-6 spot on the list of most successful betting states in the nation from newcomers Arizona, Louisiana and New York. But at the end of the day, Indiana should be able to maintain its status as a solid “second-tier” legal sports betting jurisdiction.
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