LAS VEGAS, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Indiana's retail and online sportsbooks posted their best month since March, as the opening of baseball and the reopening of the NBA season sent betting activity soaring, according to PlayIndiana. Even with just eight days of major sports, sports bettors wagered $70.9 million in July, up 137.9% from the $29.8 million sportsbooks accepted in June and sending the state's lifetime handle past $1 billion.
"Indiana's sportsbook operators have proven resilient in the face of a pandemic that completely upended the sports betting model, along with so much else," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayIndiana.com. "The industry is closing on a return to a more normal market that has the potential of a huge surge with a full month of baseball, basketball, and hockey and the potential return of football nearing."
July's handle, reported Monday, was Indiana's best since it posted $74.8 million in March. July's bets produced $6.7 million in adjusted gross revenue, up 127.9% from $2.9 million in May, and yielded $632,554 in tax revenue for the state.
Despite the jump, bets were still off by $90 million from the expectations of an ordinary July, according to PlayIndiana estimates. Since March, Indiana's sportsbooks have lost out on nearly $700 million in wagers.
The days of subpar months should end in August, though. Assuming a full schedule of baseball, the NBA, and NHL — baseball hit $14.5 million in July bets and basketball another $5.8 million — bettors will have more to draw their interest than in a typical August.
"If the leagues remain healthy, August could help sportsbooks make up some lost ground," said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. "But the industry is not out of the woods yet. College football and the NFL still have challenges to overcome, and a significant loss of the football calendar would be a huge hit to sportsbooks."
The July rebound pushed lifetime wagers to $1.03 billion since Indiana launched sports betting in October 2019, a milestone that should have been surpassed in spring.
Indiana's sportsbooks have also tallied $84.9 million in revenue and $8.1 million in tax revenue since launch, putting more milestones in reach by the industry's first birthday.
"Considering the obstacles Indiana's sportsbooks have had to navigate, hitting the $1 billion milestone in 10 months is impressive," Welman said. "If major sports can continue, and football returns, it won't be long before the state surpasses $2 billion."
After generating 98% of June's bets, the online market accounted for 91.1%, or $64.5 million, of July's handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino topped the online market again with $32.9 million in bets, up from $18.2 million in June. That produced $2.2 million in gross receipts, up from $1.6 million. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino followed with $24.2 million in bets.
Retail sportsbooks are off to an expectedly slow start after reopening in June, producing a $6.3 million handle in July. Hollywood Lawrenceburg's$2.7 million handle, up from $323,968 in July, easily led the retail market.
"DraftKings and FanDuel have very noticeably ramped up their battle for online dominance with each pouring millions into advertising campaigns, as sports betting continues to move more online," Gouker said. "Hollywood Lawrenceburg's handle is impressive, but as long as the pandemic rages on, in-person betting will be diminished. But operators with robust online products should continue to thrive."