A full slate of college and professional sports fueled active sports betting in Indiana in December.
State data analyzed by PlayIndiana.com found Indiana’s sports books took in $313.1 million in December. According to the gaming website, Indiana finished 2020 with four consecutive months of record-setting wagers and $1.75 billion in bets.
“Nothing could have recouped the revenue losses from the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and much of the baseball season,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “But a lot went right this fall for sportsbooks, and it was on full display in December.”
She said strong seasons for the Indianapolis Colts, and football programs at Notre Dame and Indiana University attracted significant wagering.
“Then a full month of college basketball, which is more important in Indiana than most anywhere else, and the start of the NBA season added a year-end boost,” Welman said. “The strong finish made it so that 2020 represented a big leap forward despite all the challenges.”
Indiana sportsbooks took in $313.1 million in December, according to official reporting released Jan. 12. December’s wagers were up 93.5% from $161.8 million in December 2019 while shattering the previous handle record of $251.4 million set in November.
December’s wagers generated $24.1 million in adjusted gross operator revenue, according to PlayIndiana.com, nearly doubling the $12.1 million set in December 2019. December’s bets yielded $2.3 million in state taxes.
Since launching in October 2019, Indiana’s sportsbooks have produced $2.2 billion in wagers.
“The first full year of operation for Indiana’s sports betting industry was anything but normal, but ultimately it managed to steady itself and end the year on a roll,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “The state faced a pandemic that shuttered retail sportsbooks, a shutdown of major sports for four months, and a record-setting sports betting launch in neighboring Illinois that siphoned off a key market for the state.”
Online betting generated 84% of December’s handle, or $263.1 million, which was down slightly from 85% in November. Market leader DraftKings/Ameristar Casino took in $112.7 million in bets, up from $95.2 million.