Sports betting in Indiana in May bounced back after dropping in April.
PlayIndiana.com, citing state data, reported Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks were more active in May compared to April. Though analysts believe the state’s sports betting industry will have to wait until the fall football season kicks off before betting volume returns to the highwater marks hit earlier this year.
“Even with the expected slowdown over the last two months, no Midwestern state has held its ground better than Indiana,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Some of that can be attributed to local events driving interest, including the Indy 500, but the market’s structural advantages that were built in before sports betting launched is also paying dividends.”
Indiana bettors placed $254.4 million in wagers in May at Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks, PlayIndiana.com reported. That is up 7.6% from $236.4 million in April, but down from March’s handle of $316.7 million.
May’s bets produced $18.9 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 6.1% from $20.1 million in April and yielding $1.8 million in state taxes. Last month’s results are improved over May 2020, when online retail and sportsbooks generated $3.2 million in revenue on $37.3 million in bets.
A slowdown from April until the kickoff of football season is to be expected, but Indiana has some advantages over other legal markets in the U.S. during the slower months, analysts said. For one, the Indianapolis 500 in May helped drive wagering in Indiana more than in most legal jurisdictions, additionally, Indiana sportsbooks have been aggressive in finding new ways to take advantage of opportunities, including aggressive promotional offerings for the Indiana Pacers’ play-in tournament appearance.
That helped push basketball betting to $82.4 million in May.
“In open and competitive betting markets such as Indiana, sportsbooks have significant incentive to find alternative events to fuel bettor interest even while the sports calendar is slower,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Whether that means heavy promotion of a Pacers play-in game or future innovations built around the upcoming Olympics, operators will do what they can to hold their market position. And ultimately, that’s good for the entire market.”
Online betting accounted for 89.8%, or $228.4 million, of the Indiana’s handle, an increase from 88.4% in April. Retail sportsbooks generated the remaining $26 million in wagers, down from $27.3 million in April.
DraftKings held its grip on the online market lead with $81.8 million in online bets, up from $79.3 million in April. Those bets yield $2.9 million in gross receipts, down from $6.1 million in April.
FanDuel was second with $79.3 million in bets, up from $67.1 million in April. Those bets were enough to lead the state with $7.6 million in gross receipts, up from $5.7 million.