Limited professional sports activity in June translated into another weak performance for Indiana’s sportsbooks.
PlayIndiana.com reported June’s handle totaled $29.8 million, down 20.1% from $37.3 million in May. June produced $2.9 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 8.1% from $3.2 million in May, and yielded $277,601 in tax revenue for the state, PlayIndiana.com reported.
Indiana sportsbooks hit a typical early-summer lull, one exasperated by the hiatus of major American sports, according to PlayIndiana.com. The organization estimates Indiana’s projected June handle could have topped $145 million if a full menu of summer sports were available during the month.
PlayIndiana.com said there has been a rise in futures betting with major sports on the verge of a return, and the reopening of retail casinos and sportsbooks.
“June historically is a slow month for sports betting, but the return of major sports are huge for Indiana’s sportsbooks, obviously, and we already see the momentum with a boost in futures betting,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “A surge in betting should come as major sports move closer. In fact, with pent-up demand and truncated seasons that shorten the wait for a potential payout, futures betting could prove particularly enticing.”
Bets classified by Indiana simply as “other” than football, basketball, and baseball produced $20.4 million in June, down from $30.5 million in May.
“Sportsbooks have done an excellent job over the last few months in keeping bettors engaged with unconventional betting sports, but those sports can’t replace the loss of basketball and baseball,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “But the return of baseball and basketball, and local interest with the return of the Indiana Pacers and Chicago-area teams, July should bring a big step toward recovery.”
PlayIndiana.com said the online market accounted for 98%, or $29.1 million, of June’s handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led its online competitors with $18.2 million in bets, down from $20.1 million in May. That handle yielded $1.6 million in gross receipts, down from $1.8 million. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino remained second with its $7.9 million handle in June, down from $12.3 million.
Indiana’s online market, though, could be facing stiffer competition after BetRivers launched Illinois’ first online sportsbook in June.
“The Illinois launch of BetRivers could keep some Chicagoans at home, cutting off what has been a profitable market for Indiana,” Welman said. “Indiana’s operators knew that day would come eventually, but it could slow down the near-term recovery for the state’s sports betting industry.”
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