Professional football and the return of Big Ten football were the primary drivers behind record-setting sports betting in Indiana in October.
PlayIndiana.com reported Indiana sportsbooks set highs in revenue and handle. October’s handle was more than $230 million, a sign that Indiana’s recent gains are sustainable, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.
“With a schedule that was more comparable to an ordinary October, Indiana’s sportsbooks fared well and offered a clearer read on where Indiana’s market stands,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Interest in the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana University, and Notre Dame is helping as the state transitions from a market that relies on Chicago to one that is more reliant on local bettors.”
Indiana sports bettors made $230.9 million in wagers in October, according to PlayIndiana.com’s analysis of state figures released Nov. 10. That breaks the record $207.5 million hit in September and is up 151.8% from $91.7 million in October 2019.
October’s bets also produced a record $21.1 million in adjusted gross revenue for the state’s operators. That is up 82.9% from $11.5 million in October 2019 and surpassed the record $14.3 million in revenue generated in September.
The month’s revenue yielded $2 million in taxes in October.
Indiana has now generated $1.6 billion in bets since launching in September 2019, but the state was topped in September by both Colorado and Illinois to fall to sixth, PlayIndiana.com said. However, Indiana appears to be become less dependent on the Chicago market as wagers on the Colts and the Hoosiers fueled $84.7 million in bets on football.
Indiana sportsbooks continue to be imaginative with the types of bets they offer, including offering odds on the Halloween Candy Bowl, a professional candy eating contest held in Las Vegas in late October.
“The market continues to sustain itself by being innovative, which is going to be critical as competition from neighboring states such as Illinois and Michigan increases,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Wringing a few extra dollars from Joey Chestnut downing candy corn might not be a game-changer on its own. But it is a sign of a larger strategy by sportsbooks to diversify their boards in interesting ways.”
Online betting generated 83.6%, or $193 million, of October’s handle in Indiana. That is up slightly from 83.5% in September.
William Hill launched its online sportsbook, but DraftKings/Ameristar Casino continued to easily lead Indiana’s online market with $90.5 million in bets, up from $83.5 million in September. October’s wagers led to $8.6 million in gross receipts, up from $3.2 million September.
A full month of the NFL and the return of the Big Ten contributed to $46.1 million in sports betting in Michigan in October, PlayMichigan.com reported.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board released the state’s sports betting figures Nov. 10.
Sports betting launched in March at Detroit’s three retail sportsbooks. In addition, 11 tribal casinos statewide have opened sportsbooks, though they are not required to submit numbers to the MGCB.
PlayIllinois.com reported in early October that Illinois online and retail sportsbooks attracted $140.1 million in bets in August, which was up 167% from $52.5 million in July.