January 12, 2021 Sports Betting, Online, Land-Based

Indiana closes 2020 with four straight record months


Hoosier State took in $300m in sports bets in December.

Indiana became the fifth state in US history to take in more than $300m in sports bets in a month when it booked $313.1m in wagers in December.

The Hoosier State ended 2020 with four consecutive record months, more than $1.75 billion in bets for the year, and it surpassed $2.2 billion in lifetime wagers, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.

The December handle was an increase of 93.5% from $161.8m in December 2019, and it topped the record $251.4m set in November.

The state’s operators saw $24.1m in adjusted gross revenue in December 2020, PlayIndiana said, almost twice the $12.1m net in the same month one year earlier. The state collected $2.3m in taxes.

Online betting generated 84% of December’s handle, or $263.1m. Retail sportsbooks generated $50m in wagers, down from $51.2m in December 2019.

For calendar 2020, operators booked $1.8 billion in wagers, $1.5 billion of which were made online. They took in $138.4m in gross revenue, while the state received $13.2m in taxes.

Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com, said 2020 held challenges for operators, including the cancellation of March Madness and much of the baseball season.

“But a lot went right this fall for sportsbooks, as the Indianapolis Colts, Notre Dame and Indiana football all continued to attract significant wagering,” Welman said in a statement. “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.”

Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIndiana.com added: “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. 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. But sportsbooks were creative in their perseverance, and it paid enormous dividends as the year went on.”

Indiana is working to legalize online casino gaming and poker, which Gouker said are more predictable revenue generators than sports betting.

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