Why Indiana Sports Betting Grew in December While Iowa Flattened Out

Posted on January 15, 2020

Indiana sports betting and its Iowa counterparts went in different directions during December.

Indiana continued its growth trends with December’s sports betting handle up 9.9% over November to $161.8 million. More than $100 million of that, or 63.4% of the total, came from DraftKings Sportsbook‘s and FanDuel Sportsbook‘s online operations.

Indiana revenue also rose 28.9% to $12 million, according to the state report.

Meanwhile, Iowa sports betting

Iowa, on the other hand, posted a slight decline in a new sports betting market. The handle fell 0.1% to $59.3 million in December, while revenue dropped 19.3% to $2.9 million.

The differences between the two states could explain the different momentum. Indiana looks more and more like a good candidate for a case study for states looking to legalize sports betting the right way with a competitive market and no restrictions on mobile.

Indiana also benefits from the lack of sports betting in bordering states Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. All either legalized sports betting or have legislation on file to do so this year, though.

Iowa, meanwhile, is hampered by in-person registration that remains in effect until 2021. It also doesn’t host any professional sports teams.

DraftKings, FanDuel roll in Indiana sports betting

A strong December helped bring total Indiana sports betting handle to $436 million for 2019.

DraftKings Sportsbook handled $170.2 million through its online sportsbook since mobile launched at the beginning of October. That accounts for 39% of Indiana’s handle last year.

FanDuel Sportsbook, meanwhile, took $62.1 million in online bets last year for 14.2% of the state total.

Indiana ended the year with four online sportsbooks live in the state. Rush Street‘s BetRivers launched at the beginning of October but has fallen to a distant third in the state. Churchill Downs, meanwhile, launched the BetAmerica brand at the end of December.

It’s clear that mobile was a significant driving factor for Indiana, but the handle split remains a bit lower than other big states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mobile accounted for 68.3% of handle in December compared with nearly 88% in NJ sports betting.

New betting markets

Prop bets on non-game-play events are coming to the Super Bowl in Indiana.

The Indiana Gaming Commission approved seven prop markets for the Super Bowl, including the coin flip, the color of the Gatorade shower and whether certain players will retire after the game.

That Super Bowl betting won’t be the end of football betting until August, either. The regulator also approved bets on the XFL, which kicks off Feb. 8, six days after the Super Bowl.

The XFL recently signed a sports betting integrity agreement with Genius Sports.

Iowa market is a little sluggish

It might not just be the hampered mobile betting with in-person registration holding Iowa back.

Iowa’s market also still lacks the two biggest online sportsbook operators, so far: FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks.

William Hill continued to lead the way with its online sportsbook live with four operators in the state. Prairie Meadows led the way for the state’s 18 casinos live with sports betting. The total handle was $19.2 million, with William Hill handling $17.7 million online.

Iowa ended the year with $212.2 million in handle, 55.8% of which came from online.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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