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Indiana Sets the January Legal US Sports Betting Tone

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Indiana Sets the January Legal US Sports Betting Tone

Indiana is the first of the traditional Top-5 bet-friendly states to report their January sports betting handle. For the fifth straight month, the Hoosier State posted record sports betting numbers, from its overall handle to revenues to the contribution to state and local coffers.

The Indiana Gaming Commission generally sets the legal sports betting handle-tone for the nation. Their monthly-record haul is a good sign for a nation-wide market that was consumed by the NFL, NBA and college basketball and NHL hockey.

Breaking Down the Figures

Indiana’s sportsbooks reported a record $348.2 million handle in January, which represents an 11.2% increase from the $313.1 million haul taken in during December and almost $100 million more than the $251.4 million registered during November.

Sportsbook revenues also showed an impressive increase during January. The state’s sportsbooks reportedly made $29.3 million off of the nearly $350 million handle – an eye-opening 20.6% increase from sportsbook profits in December.

More than $296 million, or about 85% of Indiana’s legal sports bets came via the state’s robust mobile wagering platform.Thanks to Indiana’s 9.5% tax rate on legal sports betting, the state was able to glean almost $2.8 million in tax contributions off of the monthly record handle for needy state and local coffers.

Year-over-year figures show the scope of the spike in the action that Indiana sportsbooks are taking in. January 2020’s sports betting handle was $170.8 million, less than half of January 2021’s $348.2 million. January 2020 reports had the state’s sportsbooks making $12.9 million in revenues, 127.1% less than the $29.3 million made last month.

Basketball Reigns

It remains no secret that Indiana is a basketball-crazed state and the sports betting figures from January only strengthen that notion. With football betting opportunities in increasingly short supply in January, basketball, both the NBA and College was responsible for a record-$133.2 million or 38% of the state’s total sports betting handle. March Madness has the potential to be explosive and as Jessica Welman, analyst with PlayIndiana.com said “Given how Indiana is tracking, it’s going to be an absolute record-breaker for March,”.

It certainly helps that Indiana boasts the beloved Indiana Pacers of the NBA and 10 Division I college basketball teams. It also helps that the neighboring states of Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois don’t currently allow betting on college events, forcing their residents to cross state lines to bet on their favorite college team. Football was still relevant in Indiana in January, contributing $77 million to the overall handle, “other” was responsible for $50 million and parlays generated another $50 million to Indiana’s overall sports betting handle. Baseball, with spring training around the corner was responsible for $56,000 in bets.

Staying Strong

Indiana’s legal sports betting scene has remained strong despite a host of threats on its top-tier status. January was their fifth straight month of record numbers.

Firstly, COVID-19 hasn’t seemed to affect the state’s betting culture, and their mobile platform has more-than made up for the lack of retail betting.

Indiana has also been staying strong despite the emergence of sports betting platforms in neighboring states. The states of Illinois and Michigan have each gone live and at one time looked like a huge threat to cut into Indiana’s sports betting bottom line. Both states are projected to be top-5 in terms of the National scene but so far, haven’t had much of an impact of Indiana’s ascension.

Indiana’s legal sports betting scene is on solid ground as we head deeper into 2021. If January was a sign of things to come, we can expect an explosive year with more records falling. “It’s very possible that Indiana could place $3 billion in wagers over the course of the year… That turns into about $200 million in revenue for the state.” said Jessica Welman.