- Indiana sports betting revenue fell drastically in March due to all major sports being canceled or postponed.
- The total sports betting handle in Indiana during March reached $75 million, a 60% drop from the month before.
- Indiana’s sports betting handle was mostly comprised of wagers on basketball.
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana sports betting revenue for the month of March took a major blow, similar to other states with legal sports betting.
According to the Indiana Gaming Commission monthly revenue report, the state was only able to capture $75 million in total handle for the month. A majority of the handle was gained in the first two weeks of the month before all major sports leagues postponed their seasons and before March Madness was canceled.
While this may seem like a large number of bets, its actually 60% less than February’s total sports betting handle. To add to this, the state was only able to tax $5.5 million of what the Indiana sportsbooks kept which resulted in just about $522K being attributed to the general fund.
Sports betting in Indiana had become increasingly popular and exceedingly profitable up until March. The state was averaging about $1 million in tax revenue since sportsbooks launched in September of 2019.
February even saw a record handle of $187 million with online sportsbooks taking in about 80% of that total handle. March seemed poised to break that record because of one particular reason: basketball.
Indiana Sports Bettors Love Basketball
When examining the total handle on a sport by sport basis, basketball was king for sports betting in Indiana. Almost half of the entire handle for the month could be attributed to that one sport.
This is a combination of both college basketball betting and NBA betting.
However, betting on March Madness was expected to take Indiana’s sports betting revenue to new heights.
In 2019, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that $8.5 billion was going to be bet on March Madness alone by Americans. Given the fact that there are more states with legal sports betting in 2020, that figure could have climbed even higher.
To add to that, Indiana was set to host multiple games from both the Men’s and Woman’s tournaments and has developed a robust online and retail sports betting market. The Hoosier State was betting that they could capture a large share of the billions that were going to wagered on the event.
Silver Lining For Indiana Sports Betting
The one advantage that Indiana sports betting has over other states with legal sports betting is the fact that there are multiple online sportsbooks and those sports betting websites do not require in-person registration.
As mentioned before, about 80% of all sports bets came from mobile devices in March.
With all commercial casinos in Indiana closed in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, sports bettors are still able to use online platforms to bet on any sports still being played around the world.
This may help to salvage some sports betting revenue for the state while the leagues and the NCAA are on a cautionary pause.
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.