Indiana Off to a Quick Sports Wagering Start in 2021 With a Record-Breaking January

  • The Hoosier State had its fifth consecutive record month, totaling $348.2 in handle
  • Basketball a huge boost, with the NCAA Basketball Tournament awaiting in March
  • DraftKings & FanDuel led the way but relative newcomer BetMGM moving up fast

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Although the news of setting new monthly records for sports wagering handle has become rather redundant, it is significant looking at Indiana’s latest accomplishment.

It was a new personal record for the state in January at $348.2 million with not surprisingly most of it accomplished through online betting. It was the fifth consecutive month that Indiana sports betting handle set a record.

The January figure was up 11.2 percent from the $313.1 million handle in December. That number was also more than double the January 2020 total handle of $170.8 million. To reflect the momentum, it is also nearly $100 million more than what Indiana reported in November 2020 ($251.4 million).

Of the record $348.2 million during the month, 87%, was done online ($303.1 million), mirroring the same approximate percentage other US states have been reporting for online sports wagering over the past six months.

Indiana collected $2.78 million in taxes from January’s action. That reflected a 20.7% increase from the previous month for the state ($2.3 million) and up an important 128.1% from January 2020 ($1.2 million).

GGR (gross gaming revenue) in January was $29.3 million, up 20.7% from December’s number of $24.3 million. A 128.1% increase in GGR from January 2020 of $12.8 million. Revenue figures indicate a hold of approximately 8.4%, slightly above projections.

According to some analysts, Indiana can reach a total of $3 billion in total wagering handle in 2021.

Basketball a Major Boost

While the NFL playoffs no doubt provided a healthy share of the weekend action, Indiana has benefitted from its sports bettors’ love of basketball.

NBA and NCAA college basketball combined for $133.3 million in action. Parlay bets ranked second with 86.1 million. NFL and NCAA college football was third with $77.6 million.

The hoops trend should continue into February results despite the large percentage of Super Bowl handle counted into the total. February is a big set-up month for NCAA basketball leading into “March Madness”. The NCAA just announced the entire 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played in Indiana.

Local sports fans and bettors are also involved with the Indiana Pacers, who are currently in the middle of the pack for NBA post-season playoffs. Total wagering also benefits some from sports bettors crossing over from bordering states including Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois, where in-state college sports wagering is prohibited.

By the Books

As expected, DraftKings Sportsbook, affiliated with Ameristar Casino led the way with $122.6 million in total handle in January. That mark was up from $112.7 million in December. FanDuel, with their partner Blue Chip Casino, had a January handle of $89.2 million, reflecting an increase of more than $10 million from December’s results.

BetMGM, partnering with Belterra Casino, came in third only a year after launching in Indiana with a handle of $52.4 million. PointsBet had January results of $13.5 million in the handle while BetRivers completed the strong Indiana operator list with $9 million for the record month.

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Larry Gibbs

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.

Email: [email protected]