LAS VEGAS, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Indiana sportsbooks hit a typical early-summer lull, one exasperated by the hiatus of major American sports, according to PlayIndiana. June's $29.8 million handle was shy by $145 million of what would have been expected with a full menu of summer sports, according to PlayIndiana estimates. But with an uptick in futures betting, major sports on the near horizon, and the reopening of retail casinos and sportsbooks, the industry still inched closer to normal.
"June historically is a slow month for sports betting, but the return of major sports are huge for Indiana's sportsbooks, obviously, and we already see the momentum with a boost in futures betting," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. "A surge in betting should come as major sports move closer. In fact, with pent-up demand and truncated seasons that shorten the wait for a potential payout, futures betting could prove particularly enticing."
June's handle was down 20.1% from $37.3 million in May, according to official reporting released Friday. The month produced $2.9 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 8.1% from $3.2 million in May, and yielded $277,601 in tax revenue for the state.
Bets classified by Indiana simply as "other" than football, basketball, and baseball produced $20.4 million in June, down from $30.5 million in May. But bets on the three major American team sports were up significantly — to $3.3 million in June from $1.4 million in May — fueled mostly by bets on baseball, which drew more than $2 million.
"Sportsbooks have done an excellent job over the last few months in keeping bettors engaged with unconventional betting sports, but those sports can't replace the loss of basketball and baseball," said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. "But the return of baseball and basketball, and local interest with the return of the Indiana Pacers and Chicago-area teams, July should bring a big step toward recovery."
With casinos reopening, June marked the return of retail sports betting. But that produced $558,970 handle in-person wagers, the first since March. A tepid reopening of in-person betting was expected, but it is still an important milestone.
Hollywood Lawrenceburg led the market with $323,968 in handle.
"The reopening of the retail market is important not only because it means significant new revenue for operators, but it also signals that the gaming industry is on the mend," Gouker said. "Many challenges lie ahead for the industry, and the revenue lost can't instantly be replaced. But things are headed in the right direction."
The online market accounted for 98%, or $29.1 million, of June's handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led its online competitors with $18.2 million in bets, down from $20.1 million in May. That handle yielded $1.6 million in gross receipts, down from $1.8 million. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino remained second with its $7.9 million handle in June, down from $12.3 million.
Indiana's online market, though, could be facing stiffer competition after BetRivers launched Illinois' first online sportsbook in June.
"The Illinois launch of BetRivers could keep some Chicagoans at home, cutting off what has been a profitable market for Indiana," Welman said. "Indiana's operators knew that day would come eventually, but it could slow down the near-term recovery for the state's sports betting industry."
For more revenue information, visit PlayIndiana.com/revenue.
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Zack Hall, DVA Advertising & PR, 541-389-2411, [email protected]