Indiana Sportsbooks Bounce Back Thanks To Basketball

Written By Matthew Waters on April 14, 2022
Indiana sportsbooks

Indiana sportsbooks felt the expected handle pop from March Madness, with revenue also bouncing back from a drab February.

Handle hit $476.8 million in March, up 16.5% from February and just 4.7% off January’s record $500.1 million. Sports betting revenue of $32.3 million was nearly double the $17 million reported for February. That led to $3.1 million in taxes paid, according to Monday’s report.

March pushed total Indiana sports betting handle since launch in Sept. 2019 to more than $7 billion. Sportsbooks have paid $54.2 million in taxes since launch.

Indiana sportsbooks see heavy basketball betting

Thanks to March Madness betting, basketball was far and away the most-heavily bet sport for the month with $274.1 million in handle.

Parlay was the next biggest category at $121.3 million bet. The other category accounted for $76.5 million in handle.

The late start to the baseball season delayed by the lockout meant no big Opening Day numbers for sportsbooks in March. Just $1.6 million was bet on baseball all month in Indiana.

Examining IN online sportsbook hierarchy

Indiana has 14 online sportsbooks that took 92.5% of all handle last month. Of course, that total was far from evenly spread amongst the 14:

 HandleRevenueHandle ShareRevenue Share
FanDuel$143,262,290$12,114,67532.6%42.1%
DraftKings$139,571,069$6,980,78831.7%24.2%
BetMGM$56,176,271$4,982,21012.8%17.3%
Caesars$54,887,682$2,255,41712.5%7.8%
Barstool$14,203,404$842,1743.2%2.9%
BetRivers$13,635,354$720,2553.1%2.5%
PointsBet$10,368,304$544,3942.4%1.9%
WynnBET$2,914,288$157,2630.7%0.5%
theScore Bet$1,410,428$13,9530.3%0.0%
Unibet$1,395,883$70,2510.3%0.2%
BetWay$914,557$80,9610.2%0.3%
TwinSpires$796,577($9,859)0.2%-0.0%
BallyBet$507,133$48,5040.1%0.2%
Smarkets$21,542$3,0180.0%0.0%
Total$440,064,782$28,804,004100.0%100.0%

After the first four operators, there is just 11.5% of the online market left for 10 operators to seek. The way market share breaks down in Indiana is a decent measuring stick for US sports betting in general.

Experience and marketing leads Indiana sportsbooks

It is no surprise to see the heaviest hitters in FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook sitting pretty up top.

The two are not afraid to spend marketing dollars to buy those top two spots outright. Their daily fantasy sports databases also gave them a pretty big head start compared to everyone else.

Big casino names, customer databases next

BetMGM and Caesars are third and fourth for handle share, but there is a big gap between DraftKings in second with 31.7% handle share and BetMGM’s 12.8% handle share.

Both operators spent big when new markets opened but are also more cautious with their marketing efforts considering the larger businesses at stake. The two seem focused on building a profitable sports betting business that is complementary to their main business.

The obvious strength of both BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook is their casino customer databases. While they did not have as big an advantage as the DFS operators did, the casino databases present customers that are familiar with the brand for cheaper cross-selling opportunities.

Not quite nobody, but not making much noise

The next three operators in the list, Barstool, BetRivers and PointsBet, are not making major waves but have loyal customers.

Penn National‘s Barstool and Rush Street Interactive‘s BetRivers also have casino databases like BetMGM and Caesars but they are not exactly comparable. BetMGM and Caesars have more destination resorts in cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City while Penn and Rush Street have casinos mostly focused on locals.

All three have different approaches to how they pick up customers. Barstool relies on its ‘Stoolies’ migrating from social media to the sportsbook. BetRivers has former players as ambassadors and works team deals but still keeps marketing to a minimum. PointsBet, meanwhile, dumped a lot of its eggs into the NBCUniversal deal signed in 2020 and has steadily grown the business since then.

Who is betting with Indiana sportsbooks?

The seven at the bottom of the Indiana sportsbook list combined for 1.8% of handle and 1.3% of revenue in March.

The bottom tier is a strange mix of new and old operators. Smarkets just launched in March while Bally Bet is taking things slow as it perfects its 2.0 platform. BetWay, Unibet and theScore Bet have been active in the market long enough to try to take market share.

Either way, it is not a good thing to be lumped in with companies that reportedly want out of sports betting like WynnBET and TwinSpires. A report from January suggested Wynn Resorts was trying to sell its interactive division on the cheap. Churchill Downs announced it is exiting the online casino and betting space on its most recent investor call.

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Written by
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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