Indiana Sports Betting: Revenues Rise in May Even as the Handle Drops

Posted on: June 13, 2022, 01:18h. 

Last updated on: July 26, 2022, 11:53h.

Indiana’s sportsbooks expectedly saw a dip in activity for May. Still, they managed to generate more revenue in the month than they did in April. That’s according to data released by the Indiana Gaming Commission on Friday.

Indy 500
Marcus Ericsson takes the checkered flag at the 2022 Indianapolis 500 on May 29. The auto race was one of the major sporting events held in the month, when Indiana’s licensed sportsbooks reported a collective handle of $308.4 million. (Image: James Black/Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

The retail sportsbooks and online apps licensed in the state reported a handle of $308.4 million in May. That was a nearly $52 million drop from the $360 million they accepted in wagers for April.

April saw the end of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the NBA regular season. With basketball being the top sport for Indiana’s bettors, handle on hoops fell by more than a third, from $129.2 million in April to $84.5 million last month.

Parlay bets also fell from $91.3 million to $73.1 million. But wagers on baseball rose nearly 22% from month to month, with bettors staking $69.1 million in May.

Bets on other sports rose slightly from $76.5 million in April to $77.2 million last month. While events like the PGA Championship and the NHL playoffs attract interest, that segment also likely got a boost from the May 29 Indianapolis 500, the biggest annual sporting event held in the state.

From a year-to-year standpoint, May’s handle jumped 21.2%, or $54 million, from May 2021’s $254.4 million handle.

Revenues Rev Up in May

While betting activity waned in May, Indiana’s sportsbook reported a $2 million increase in adjusted gross revenues (AGR) from April, to $30.7 million. It also represents a 62.4% jump from May 2021, when sportsbooks collected just $18.9 million in winnings.

FanDuel took in $12.6 million in gross receipts in May off a handle of $91.6 million. DraftKings won $7.1 million off $84.1 million. Meanwhile, BetMGM collected $4.4 million from the $40.4 million its bettors gambled in May.

Based on Indiana’s 9.5% tax on AGR, the state received $2.9 million last month.

Based on the handle and the AGR totals, it would indicate a 9.9% hold for the sportsbooks in May. However, the IGC warns against calculating a “relevant” hold, because the handle includes wagers made on futures markets that were not completed in May.

Changes Coming to Indiana Sports Betting Landscape

May saw Indiana’s newest commercial casino, Hard Rock Northern Indiana, open its retail sportsbook. With that, all 12 state-licensed casinos now have a brick-and-mortar facility.

However, most bettors in Indiana make their wagers through online apps. In May, 14 online operators accounted for $284.9 million, or 92.4%, of Indiana’s handle.

Indiana’s online sports betting landscape will get a little smaller this month, as two licensees have announced they will be ending operations.

Earlier this year, Churchill Downs Incorporated said it would discontinue online sports betting through its TwinSpires division. Company officials noted there were concerns about profitability within online sports betting, especially as some companies have spent large sums to promote their sportsbooks and acquire customers.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Penn National Gaming announced that theScore Bet would stop operating in Indiana and three other US states. Penn has two sports betting companies, with the other being Barstool Sportsbook. The move means theScore will now become Penn’s sportsbook in Canada, where theScore serves as a major sports media company.

Neither theScore nor TwinSpires were major operators in Indiana. Both ranked in the bottom tier in terms of handle, with theScore generating $601,354 in bets last month and TwinSpires attracting $121,151 in wagers.