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In a tale of two states, Indiana casinos are celebrating record revenue figures for November, while New York lawmakers are scratching their heads as limited sports betting takes a huge step backward.
For November, Indiana sportsbooks took in a record $147 million in betting handle, just the second full month the Hoosier State since sports betting became legal, a jump of $50 million from October.
But the celebration did not extend to New York as the Empire State posted its lowest revenue figures since sports betting opened in July.
The four commercial sportsbooks in New York generated just $1.3 in tax revenue, a 40% drop from the revenue posted in October ($2.2 million).
Less than three months into Indiana’s new sports betting frontier, the state’s sportsbooks are encouraged by the early returns but suggest exercising caution as neighboring Michigan and Illinois are both on the verge of legalizing and opening wagering to bettors.
The boost for Indiana can be attributed to the widespread use of online betting as 65% of all wagers were done online in the month of November.
Experts believe that the 65% figure will soon be eclipsed as more bettors become comfortable with the online betting options.
“Once online betting begins, the market grows exponentially,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIndiana.com, a Las Vegas-based gaming firm. “Bettors overwhelmingly prefer the convenience and safety of online sportsbooks, and the addition of DraftKings and FanDuel in October was like adding rocket fuel to Indiana’s sports betting industry.”
With Illinois looking to open betting sometime after the Super Bowl, Indiana will continue to enjoy bettors from other states placing wagers for the not-so-distant future. But that will soon change once Illinois and nearby Michigan open their doors to legal betting.
Michigan lawmakers are awaiting the signature of Governor Gretchen Whitmer on several passed bills that could bring sports betting to the state by the summer.
“Indiana is currently benefiting from a sports betting monopoly in the region, a dynamic that will change as Illinois rolls out sports betting, and as Michigan is set to pass a new law before the end of the year,” Gouker told Inside Indiana Business.
Even though New York does not report sports betting handle for the state’s four casinos, the report for revenue in November was disappointing to say the least. All four casinos saw a drop in revenue, a staggering realization considering that professional and college football fuel record numbers for casinos all over the country in the fall.
The reduction in revenue could accelerate New York’s plan to offer statewide online sports betting sooner rather than later to bettors. With the government facing a $6 billion dollar deficit in 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration will be looking everywhere to find additional funding to lessen the blow of the imbalanced budget.
In states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, online betting has become the driving force behind record revenue. And although Gov. Cuomo has been resistant to expand betting in the state, the budget shortfall could force his hand and create a quick legalization process.
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