Indiana Sports Betting Market Momentum Stopped By Sports Shutdown

Posted on April 13, 2020

Indiana sports betting proved an early success story among states that recently added wagering, with consistent month-to-month growth.

That momentum quickly halted in March, when nearly all sports shut down by the middle of the month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indiana then shut all of its casinos on March 15.

Total handled plummeted 60% from February to $74.8 million. Sports betting revenue was halved to $5.5 million, according to the state report.

Even in the shortened month, the state did hit one new benchmark. Mobile handle of $60.8 million accounted for 81.3% for March, up from 77.9% in February.

Another Indiana sports betting record stopped?

It seemed obvious that sports betting in Indiana was in store for its biggest month yet with March Madness.

PlayIndiana estimates the state likely would have topped the $200 million mark for handle. The American Gaming Association estimated 47 million Americans would bet $8.5 billion on the tournament last year. That included betting with legal books, illegal books and brackets.

The AGA did not release the 2020 estimates.

New sports added, but shut down, too

The Indiana Gaming Commission approved a number of new markets in March and early April, presumably to help sportsbooks bridge the gap without major sports.

But even those sports, including foreign basketball leagues and table tennis, are suspended as well. The most recent approval this week was hockey from the Belarusian Extraleague, though its 2020 season just wrapped up.

Indiana can’t do what Nevada and New Jersey are doing with the addition of esports and iRacing, either. The state’s regulations specifically ban betting on esports.

BetMGM has strong showing

In its first full month of operations, BetMGM brought in $2.1 million in handle, according to the state report. That placed it fourth in the state’s online sportsbook tally.

DraftKings Sportsbook again led the state with $33.1 million in handle while FanDuel Sportsbook took $21.6 million.

PointsBet, which launched earlier in the month, had $334,237 in handle.

BetAmerica, meanwhile, took $132,568 to round out the mobile operators. Even though there wasn’t much to bet on at the end of the month, it didn’t matter for BetAmerica: its sportsbook supplier, SBTech, was down due to a cyberattack that began March 27.

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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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