When it comes to legally betting on sports in Indiana, the preferred method is to do it online.
That’s according to February state wagering data reviewed by PlayIndiana.com. The latest state numbers showed Indiana’s five-month streak of record-setting sports wagering ended in February with $273.9 million in wagers placed.
It was the first time since September monthly sports bets placed in the state did not top $275 million, according to PlayIndiana.com.
Online sports wagering appears to have a solid foothold in Indiana. Most of the sports wagers placed in Indiana were in February, were online, generating $241 million or 88.4% of the state’s overall handle, which was up from 85.1% in January.
“Indiana remains a shining star among legal sports betting markets, even with a disappointing Super Bowl,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “It is eye-popping to see a pullback, especially considering February marked the first full month of online sports betting in Michigan but the market has continued to expand in spite of increased competition from Illinois, so this is likely a momentary blip explained most easily by the uniqueness of Indiana’s market.”
Indiana sportsbooks wagers in February were up 46.3% from $187.2 million in February 2020, PlayIndiana.com reported. The month’s wagers fell well short of the record $348.2 million set in January.
Adjusted gross operator revenue fell to $17 million from the record $29.3 million set in January. GOR was still up 52.9% from $11.1 million in February 2019.
Sports betting in February generated $1.6 million in taxes or revenue for the state of Indiana.
PlayIndiana.com said with only one NFL game, the Super Bowl, much of February’s decline can be attributed to a pullback in football betting. Indiana bettors placed $18.8 million in wagers on football in February, compared with $77.6 million in football bets in January.
Meanwhile, basketball continued to lure in sports bets, generating $127.2 million in wagers during the 28 days in February, up slightly on a per-day basis with $133.2 million in the 31 days of January.
“With two years of data now, I think it’s fair to say that the Super Bowl does not seem to drive as much interest in Indiana as in other event-dominated sports betting markets,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “But last year, before the pandemic shut down sports, we saw Indiana’s love of basketball begin to shine. And this March, that might be particularly so.”
In March, Indiana will host each game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is one of the most important U.S. sports betting events, will be played in a legal sports jurisdiction for the first time.
“Because this is the first time Indiana has offered legalized sports betting during March Madness, and because it is the sole host to the tournament, it is nearly impossible to project the exact impact of the games ahead of next week’s tip-off,” Gouker said. “Hosting the entire tournament will almost certainly create a surge in interest in wagering on the games (so) ultimately, this will be a fascinating case study in the importance of local sporting events to bettors.”
DraftKings/Ameristar Casino accounted for 39.4% of the state’s online handle with $107.4 million in bets, down from $122.6 million in January. That yielded $3.7 million in gross receipts, down from $9.4 million in January.
FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino was second with $70.9 million in bets, down from $89.2 million. That led to a market-best $5 million in gross receipts, down from $8.2 million in January.
Unibet/Horseshoe Hammond February handle was $1.8 million, up from $1.6 million.
Caesars/Horseshoe Hammond February handle was $667,360, down from $677,532.
PlayIndiana.com reported retail sportsbooks produced $32.9 million in February wagers, down from $41.3 million in February 2020. Ameristar Casino in Gary logged $4.9 million in wagers and Horseshoe Hammond took in $4.1 million in bets.