Indiana became the fifth state to surpass $1 billion in wagers, with a record-breaking $313 million sportsbook handle in December.
Fifth State in US History
The Indiana Gaming Commission released Tuesday the sportsbook handle for December, finishing 2020 with record-breaking results since September. Becoming the fifth state in the US to pass $1 billion in wagers, Indiana reported about $313 million in bets in December. In November, the state’s previous handle record reached $251.4 million.
The shutdown and cancellation of many sports events and competitions in 2020, such as the NCAA Tournament and most of the baseball regular season, deeply impacted sports betting revenue. Football and collegiate basketball, significantly bigger in Indiana than in other states, and the NBA season, which started on December 22, greatly increased wagering for the month.
December’s betting handle increased by 93.5%, from $161.8 million the previous year. In 2020, Indiana’s sports betting operators produced $1.23 billion in wagers.
Online Sports Betting is Booming
Online wagering surpassed retail results last month, with 84% of all bets made online, or $263 million. Leading iGaming operator DraftKings and its partner Ameristar Casino finished December with $112.7 million in online wagers and $5.1 million in gross gaming revenue.
Retail sports betting yielded $50 million in bets, down $1.2 million year-on-year, with $12 million generated by Hollywood Lawrenceburg.
Those results are not surprising, especially with the pandemic hitting the industry in March throughout the rest of the year. With online sports betting significantly growing in Indiana and nationwide, the state has been making progress on legislation for online casino and poker. Legal iGaming could bring a steadier and more predictable revenue source to Indiana.
Gaming Expansion in Indiana
Republican Senator Jon Ford just introduced legislation to allow online casino gaming, while another separate legislation, Senate Bill 267, filed by Senator Susan Glick, also Republican, was issued on Monday. It would authorize wagering on video gaming terminals.
Senator Ford’s Senate Bill 417 would offer online casino games and online poker to Indianans via the state’s 14 casinos and racinos, horse track casinos. The operators would need additional licensing before being able to launch their offerings.