Local Sports

Indiana sportsbooks launch new year with record January

 Indiana retail and online sportsbooks capitalized on basketball to post a record January and continue to firm up the state’s position as the nation’s fourth-largest legal sports betting market. And with the state enjoying its role as the sports betting capital of the Midwest and new online sportsbooks opening in time for the close to the college basketball season, Indiana could begin to put heat on Pennsylvania to become the nation’s third largest, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.com. 


“Indiana has built an impressive infrastructure that continues to maximize the market’s potential,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “That should help keep the state a step ahead of its competition as neighboring states, such Michigan, prepare for their own launches.”


Indiana’s $170.8 million handle in January was up 9.5% from the then-record $161.8 million in December, according to official reporting released Monday. Adjusted gross revenue from those bets was $12.9 million, up 9.3% from $12 million. That yielded $1.2 million in tax revenue for the state.

Interest in basketball was a catalyst in January, which also featured the NFL Playoffs and college football’s national championship game. Basketball boomed with $59.8 million in bets, or 35% of the state’s handle. Football drew $36.7 million.


Online sportsbooks generated $123.4 million in bets in January. Online betting represented 72.2% of January’s handle, up from 69.5% in December. And more growth should come. PointsBet, BetIndiana, and BetMGM are all set for a February launch, bringing Indiana’s number of approved online sportsbook licensees to seven.


Indiana’s embrace of online betting, its near-monopoly of the Midwest, and close proximity to major out-of-state markets such as Chicago, have helped Indiana quickly position itself as the fourth-largest legal sports betting market in the U.S. While still well behind No. 3 Pennsylvania — a much larger state by population that launched sports betting nearly one year ahead of Indiana — the Hoosier State is well positioned for more short-term growth.


“Indiana has been remarkably progressive in the way it has managed its sports betting industry, rivaling New Jersey as the most forward-thinking legal jurisdiction,” Gouker said. “Early adoption of online betting, which has been atypical among states with legal sports betting, has been an enormous boost. And innovations such as allowing prop bets for the Super Bowl and opening the door to Oscars betting show Indiana is willing to take risks in opening new markets, which will serve the state well.”


The newcomers have a long way to catch market leader DraftKings, which operates under Ameristar Casino’s license. DraftKings posted a $66 million handle in January, down slightly from $66.7 million in December. That generated $4.6 million in gross receipts, down from $5 million. But FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino inched closer with a $49.5 million handle in January, up from $36 million. That resulted in a $1.9 million win, down from $2.2 million.


The market leaders were followed by:

  • BetRivers/French Lick Resort ($7.8 million handle, down from $7.9 million; $590,178 win, down from $528,200)
  • BetAmerica/Rising Star Casino ($89,622 handle, up from $2,129; $1,854 win, up from -$1,173)

Horseshoe Hammond’s proximity to Chicago continued to be a winner, leading the retail market with a $13.7 million January handle, up from $13.4 million in December. Those bets generated $1.8 million in gross receipts, up from $1.1 million. Horseshoe Hammond was followed by:


  • Hollywood Lawrenceburg ($7.8 million handle in January, down from $8.9 million; $578,993 win, down from $824,235)
  • Ameristar Casino ($7 million handle, down from $8.3 million; $1.4 million win, up from $928,211)
  • Harrah's Hoosier Park ($5.4 million handle, down from $5.7 million; $321,785 win, down from $441,112)
  • Indiana Grand ($5 million handle, up from $4.6 million; $365,318 win, up from $208,275)
  • Blue Chip Casino ($2.7 million handle, down from $4.2 million; $$279,868 win, up from $186,802)
  • Tropicana Evansville ($2 million handle, even with December; $210,974 win, up from $185,176)
  • Caesars Southern Indiana ($2.4 million handle, up from $1.6 million; $143,966 win, down from $170,884)
  • French Lick Resort ($533,634 handle, down from $1.5 million; $14,132 win, up from $13,587)
  • Belterra Casino ($934,724 handle, down from $948,810; $8,077 win, down from $151,640)

“Proximity to Chicago is still a critical advantage in the retail market, but that could change when Illinois launches retail betting, which could happen as early as March,” Gouker said. “FanDuel has made progress in the online market, but it can’t quite overcome DraftKings’ head start. But with new operators coming, the online market could be shaken up, too.”


For more revenue information on Indiana sportsbooks, visit PlayIndiana.com/revenue.


About the PlayUSA.com Network:

The PlayUSA.com Network is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the United States. With a presence in over a dozen states, PlayUSA.com and its state-focused branches (including PlayIndiana.com, PlayNJ.com and PlayPennsylvania.com) produce daily original reporting, publish in-depth research, and offer player advocacy tools related to the advancement of safe, licensed, and legal online gaming options for consumers. Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino — commercial, tribal, online, or otherwise.