Analysts predict a bright future for Indiana after in-person resumption

Indiana sportsbooks finished June approximately $145m off previous expectations, however, analysts at PlayIndiana assert confidence of the region inching still closer to normal amid a lull in major sporting activity and current health crisis.

June’s handle was down 20.1 per cent to $29.8m from $37.3m in May, according to official reporting, but optimism could come from an uptick in futures betting, major sports on the near horizon, and the reopening of retail casinos and sportsbooks.

June produced $2.9m in adjusted gross revenue, down 8.1 per cent from $3.2m in May, and yielded $277,601 in tax revenue for the state.

“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,” explained 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.”

With casinos reopening, June marked the return of retail sports betting, but that produced $558,970 handle in-person wagers, the first since March. Hollywood Lawrenceburg led the market with $323,968 in handle.

“The reopening of the retail market is important not only because it means significant new revenue for operators, but it also signals that the gaming industry is on the mend,” Gouker added. 

“Many challenges lie ahead for the industry, and the revenue lost can’t instantly be replaced. But things are headed in the right direction.”

The online market accounted for 98 per cent, or $29.1m, of June’s handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led its online competitors with $18.2m in bets, down from $20.1, in May, yielding $1.6m in gross receipts, down from $1.8m. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino remained second with its $7.9m handle in June, down from $12.3.

Indiana’s online market could be facing stiffer competition though, after BetRivers launched the first online sportsbook in neighbouring Illinois last month.

“The Illinois launch of BetRivers could keep some Chicagoans at home, cutting off what has been a profitable market for Indiana,” noted Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com.

“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.”