Indiana Gaming Update: Sportsbooks, Casinos End 2021 on a Strong Note

Posted on: January 15, 2022, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: January 15, 2022, 05:56h.

The final totals are in for Indiana gaming in 2021, and sportsbooks had plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Hard Rock Northern Indiana
The gaming floor at Hard Rock Northern Indiana in Gary just before it opened in May. According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, the state’s newest casino has posted the highest adjusted gaming revenue figures for the past three months, including $31.2 million in December. (Image: Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch/Twitter)

In the second full calendar year of sports betting, and a year that more closely resembled the traditional sports calendar, Indiana’s sportsbooks and mobile apps accepted $3.8 billion in wagers. That’s according to the monthly data reports posted by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).

The sportsbooks won $306 million off those wagers, and the state of Indiana received nearly $29.1 million in tax revenue off the gross receipts.

For comparison purposes, Indiana’s 12 casinos generated wagering taxes of $53.6 million in December alone.

A very strong fourth quarter helped buoy the sports betting numbers, especially the handle. In all three months, the monthly handle exceeded $460 million and was topped by a record-setting $463.7 million handle in November.

December Sports Betting Handle Nearly Matches November

December’s handle could not top November, but it came close. The IGC reported a monthly handle of $463 million. Still, it marks the second-highest handle the state’s recorded.

Sportsbook revenues, however, plunged from $47.7 million in November to $25.8 million in December. Comparatively, the state’s share dropped precipitously as well, from $4.5 million to $2.4 million.

From a sports perspective, basketball edged out football from a handle-by-sport perspective, $148.5 million to $141.8 million. That’s likely due to the fact there were fewer college football games during the month.

Neither sports total includes parlays, which the IGC breaks out separately. The IGC reported $117.3 million in parlay bets for December.

Online apps dominated once again, with DraftKings posting the largest handle at $148.2 million. FanDuel finished second at $120.5 million. But FanDuel did report higher revenues. It took in $7.5 million in winnings, compared to DraftKings’ $6.4 million.

Caesars, with its combination of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and its app, reported a combined handle of $65.7 million and winnings of $2.7 million. BetMGM won $3.6 million of the $49.9 million it took in bets.

Indiana Casino Revenues Rebound from COVID

Indiana’s casinos reported adjusted gaming revenues (AGR) of $2.33 billion for the 2021 calendar year, based on the IGC’s monthly reports. The data shows a strong second half of the year, which coincided with the state ending several COVID-19 restrictions.

Horseshoe Hammond reported the highest yearly total AGR at $390.7 million. However, the Caesars Entertainment-owned casino and the Hoosier casino closest to the Illinois state line will likely have stiff competition for that title next year.

That’s because the state’s newest casino, Hard Rock Northern Indiana, has reported higher monthly AGR totals for each of the past three months. In December, the Gary casino reported revenues of $31.2 million compared to Horseshoe’s $29.8 million.

For the final month of the year, the state’s 12 casinos reported a total AGR of $203.2 million. That’s up from the $143 million reported in December 2020. It also represents an increase from the $179.8 million reported in December 2019.

The additional gaming revenue means additional tax money for the state. Indiana received nearly $53.7 million in wagering taxes for December. Wagering taxes are assessed on a graduated scale based on revenues generated during the fiscal (July-June) year.

Tax rates for casinos range from 15 percent for the first $25 million in AGR to 40 percent for revenue beyond $600 million. The rate for revenues between $150 million and $600 million is 35 percent. The state taxes racinos at 25 percent of AGR for the first $100 million, 30 percent for revenues between $100 million and $200 million, and 35 percent for revenues exceeding $200 million.

For the 2021 calendar year, Indiana’s casinos and racinos generated $576.8 million in wagering taxes.

Indiana also assesses a supplemental tax on all of its casinos except for its two racinos, Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and the French Lick Resort. That tax, assessed at $3 per person entering a casino, generated $4.3 million in December. The supplemental tax is divided evenly between the state, the casino’s host city, and its host county.

The casinos generated supplemental tax revenues of $49 million for the 2021 calendar year.

The state expects more casino gaming revenue in the coming years. Last month, the commission officially awarded its 13th casino license to Churchill Downs Inc. to build a casino in Terre Haute.