Sports betting revenue in Indiana hit an all-time low

  • Indiana released its April 2020 sports betting revenue report, and unsurprisingly, handle and revenue both decreased significantly once again.
  • While overall revenue and handle are nosediving, more Indiana bettors are betting on non-traditional sports like table tennis and MMA.
  • The road to full financial recovery from COVID-19 is going to be long and difficult for Indiana sports betting firms, as it will for everyone.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s monthly sports betting revenue decreased by more than $4 million in April, to just $1.6 million. This marks an 88% decline from the $11.1 million in revenue posted in February, the last full month of sports betting prior to the Coronavirus.

Indiana’s total sports betting handle for the month was a paltry $26.3 million, nearly $50 million less than in March and $161 million (86%) less than in February.

The $1.6 million in sports betting revenue represented a 5.93% hold rate, tied for the lowest in the short history of legal sports betting in Indiana.

The Ameristar Casino once again led the way with $13.6 million in handle and $958,000 in revenue.

If there was a silver lining to the bleak report, it came in the “Statewide Handle By Sport” section, specifically the “Other” category. Betting handle for miscellaneous events increased by nearly $6 million, representing an increased interest in betting on sports like table tennis, MMA, and international soccer.

Where Are Indiana Sportsbooks Along The Road To Recovery?

Unfortunately, the outlook for the short-term future of Indiana sports betting appears to be bleak. Casinos are likely to remain closed until at least mid-June.

Seven of Indiana’s 13 licensed sportsbooks are retail only, meaning that they won’t receive another dime of sports betting revenue until they can reopen.

Even online revenues aren’t safe. There is no chance of any kind of financial recovery for Indiana sportsbooks until major American professional sports are able to resume their season, which could still be months away thanks to COVID-19.

Even once sports resume, there is no guarantee that the average American’s household finances will be in good enough shape to support consistent recreational sports betting.

In a study published in mid-March, the Boston Consulting Group found that 26% of respondents planned to reduce spending on gambling—a number that has likely only increased since over 20 million Americans lost their jobs.

Even if the NBA and MLB can find some way to resume their seasons under an altered scheduling format, which is looking increasingly unlikely, the sports betting industry would still be plagued with the uncertainty of a reeling national economy.

Sportsbooks are going to need to continue to find ways to stretch their limited revenues until the public health situation improves and the economy can begin to heal.

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