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Indiana Continues to Raise their Sports Betting Bar

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Indiana Continues to Raise their Sports Betting Bar
William Hill Race & Sports Book. Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for William Hill U.S./AFP

The state of Indiana continues to exceed expectations with regard to its legal sports betting platform. The Hoosier State is the first of the “Big 5” bet-friendly states to release their October sports betting figures, and they revealed yet another record month in terms of their overall handle, the second such record in a row.

The Hoosier State has become one of the great surprises of the US legal sports betting industry. Despite a relatively small population, the state has remained in an elite class. Their platform has been operational since September 2019 and was able to surpass the $1 billion mark in total handle back in July.

Headwinds? What Headwinds?

Indiana was facing a few headwinds that brought about a sense that the state could see a slight drop-off in October. Basketball concluded October 11, the NHL season ended in September and there was no Kentucky Derby or US Open golf. And of course, there are the never-ending COVID spikes.

But perhaps the biggest threat to the Indiana scene in October however was the state of Illinois, which many thought would threaten the Indiana scene. In existence for three months, Illinois’ amended remote sign-up policy for mobile betting snuck up on Indiana. It also allowed Illinois bettors to sign up for mobile apps from home rather than having to sign up in-person at an Illinois brick-and-mortar facility.

The result is fewer bettors from Illinois using Indiana’s advanced mobile sports betting platform.

As for Indiana’s October’s sports betting haul, Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. recently commented that “Interest in the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana University, and Notre Dame is helping as the state transitions from a market that relies on Chicago to one that is more reliant on local bettors.

A Dive Into the Numbers

The Indiana Gaming Commission reported a $230.9 million handle in October, representing an 11.3% increase over the previous handle record of $207.45 million which was set in September. It also marks a 151.8% increase from October of last year.

Sports betting revenues for October followed suit, setting another record for the state. Adjusted Gross Revenue totals for sports wagering in Indiana came in at $21.1 million – an impressive 47.7% increase from September’s $14.28 million. The hold rate was 9.1%.

No Shock as to What Carried Indiana

To nobody’s surprise, it was Indiana’s mobile betting platform that carried the state to its latest record. Mobile apps in Indiana were responsible for $193 million of the $230 million handle, which represents 83.6% of the total. It marks a 7.9% increase from September’s $179 million mobile take and an incredible year-over-year 302% spike. Retail betting accounted for just $37.9 million of the overall handle.

Another less-than-shocking stat was football’s contribution to the state’s record sports betting haul. Thanks in large part to the Indianapolis Colts’ 5-3 start, the Indiana Hoosiers, who are in the College Football Top 10, and the always-popular Notre Dame Fighting Irish, football accounted for $84.72 million of the total handle. Baseball contributed $25.59 million and baseball brought in $10.8 million.

More State Records to Fall

It appears as though there will be no October drop-off for the legal sports betting industry around the country. Indiana joined Iowa who also soared to a new monthly high with $81,902,416.

More states are expected to report on the October handles in the coming weeks – most of which will be looking to build on their own records from September. Although it will be tough to match the $2.5 billion National handle the industry as a whole produced in September, analysts have learned not to doubt the US legal sports betting industry.