Indiana Posts Very Impressive Opening Handle
Legal sports betting went live in Indiana on September 1 which was right in time for the start of the NFL season. Sportsbooks and off-track betting locations in Indiana took in more than $35 million in sports wagers during the first month according to the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).
That $35 million in wagers helped the sportsbooks generate revenues of $8.6 million for September. That represents a hold rate of 24% which is one of the highest figures that have been recorded since PASPA was struck down. The numbers released by the IGC also show that the state of Indiana get $813,103 in tax revenue. There are 13 brick and mortar sportsbooks in Indiana but only 10 of them began accepting wagers as of September 1st so these numbers should continue to grow.
Online/Mobile Wagering Will Boost Handle
The fact that Indiana was able to have such a successful month without revenue from online/mobile wagering makes this all the more impressive. In states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the online handle is much bigger than in-person betting numbers.
In Pennsylvania for example, online wagering went live in May and by August, their handle was $109 million. Of that $109 million, 76% of it came from online/mobile wagers which represents $83.2 million. Mobile sports betting in Indiana started on October 3rd when Rush Street Interactive and DraftKings launched online sportsbooks. The director of the IGC said data about online sports betting will be released in November.
While there are several casinos along the Indiana-Illinois border attracting out of state business, mobile wagering is sure to take the profits from Chicago area residents to a new level.
Illinois Money Will Keep Rolling In
When looking at the handle for individual casinos in the state, it is no surprise to see the casinos located near the Illinois border making the most profit. The top Indiana sportsbooks in terms of handle were Horseshoe Hammond at almost $9 million. Ameristar East Chicago was next at approximately $5.4 million. Both of those casinos are less than an hour drive from Cook County Illinois. Not only is Chicago located in there, more than 40% of all Illinois residents live in Cook County.
The mobile betting laws in Indiana make the commute even easier because of one important rule. Indiana sports betting law allow customers to sign-up remotely. That means that Chicago area residents don't even have to go all the way to the physical sportsbooks to place their bets. As soon as they cross into Indiana they can make their wager with their phone and drive back home before the game is even done.
Illinois is not close to getting legalized sports betting off the ground yet although the conversation has started. In the meantime, Indiana will continue to profit from their big money neighbors for the foreseeable future.
Basketball Season Should See a Rise in Profits
There is no doubt that the start of the NFL season helped Indiana's handle a great deal. We should expect the NBA and NCAA basketball seasons to have a positive effect as well. Indiana is a basketball crazy state and once Big Ten season starts, we should expect fans in Ohio and Michigan close enough to the Indiana border to get in on the mobile wagering action. Indiana and Iowa are the only states in the Midwest with legalized sports betting at the moment.