Indiana sports betting makes flying start in debut month

Harrah's Hoosier park

Legal sports betting in Indiana has got off to a flying start, according to figures released by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).

Their report for September shows $34.5 million in handle and $8.5 million in revenue (a striking 24% hold), with football the dominant sport, claiming $20.7 million of the total handle.

Parlay wagers added nearly $9.8 million, while baseball came in third with over $3.4 million.

The figures are the first since Indiana launched its legalized sports betting market, which for September involved only the state’s 13 brick and mortar casinos and betting parlors, as mobile didn’t launch until October.

Given that, those figures are even more impressive, although the hold figure is not the disaster for Hoosier bettors it might suggest. Simply because the handle includes an unspecified amount of futures, bets, with no doubt a healthy number riding on local teams.

Betting on local teams is one of the drivers behind the early success of Indiana sports betting as, unlike in New Jersey, there are no legal restrictions.

Last weekend, DraftKings reportedly paid out $300,000 to Colts bettors who took advantage of the Sportsbook’s boosted moneyline (+460 to +1000), cashing in when Jacoby Brissett and Co pulled off an upset against the Chiefs, who were 11.5-point favorites with home field advantage.

DraftKings offer sports betting under the license of Ameristar East Chicago and that casino reported a handle of $5.4 million, but that wasn’t the biggest slice by any means, with that going to Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Hammond ($9 million).

Hammond also topped the betting revenue chart with nearly $2.1 million and there was a three-way dogfight for second place, with contributions from several OTBs in the area giving Harrah’s Hoosier Park ($1.3 million) a narrow edge.

Money from Windy City blowing into Indiana

It’s no coincidence that the top two Indiana sportsbooks in terms of handle – Hammond and Ameristar – are located near the border with Illinois and just a few miles drive from downtown Chicago.

As we reported earlier this week, plenty of Illinois bettors, frustrated by the slow progress of legal sports betting close to home, are hopping over the border for some betting action in neighbouring Indiana.

That’s likely to continue well into 2020 and those residents from Chicago and the surrounding areas of Illinois now (beginning on Oct.3) have the option of mobile wagering, without having to first register in a casino.

Thanks to statewide mobile wagering being signed into law, a bettor has only to be physically located inside state borders to wager and they currently have the choice of two mobile sportsbooks, with Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers app launching within hours of Draftkings mobile app.

Mobile sports betting just getting going

Both DraftKings and BetRivers will no doubt make the most of their head start on rivals, allowing them to get a foothold and build customer loyalty, but competition is a-coming.

The IGC has recently said it’s close to approving one other operator for mobile wagering this month and we fully expect that will be FanDuel, which is already taking bets in Indiana via its Boyd Gaming partnership.

Other operators queuing up to take advantage of a friendly tax rate of 9.5% on sports betting revenue are reported to be FoxBet, PointsBet, William Hill and Caesars Sportsbook, with others no doubt also hoping to debut in the coming months.

Watch this space for more news and do get in touch with anything you like as regards legal sports betting in the US.

Relevant news