Indiana sports betting handle sinks to monthly low in April

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(AP Photo/LM Otero)
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With American sports in a virtual lockdown, sports betting handle in Indiana plummeted to an all-time low $26.3 million in April, according the Indiana Gaming Commission’s monthly report released this week.

The figure marks a decline of nearly 65% from the $74.8 million in wagers the state’s sportsbooks wrote in March. The NBA decided on March 11 to postpone its season, the first of many dominoes to fall as sports shut down. Following the NBA’s decision, the NCAA cancelled its basketball tournament and the NHL and MLB also postponed their seasons.

Sportsbooks held (or won) just $1.56 million in April. That’s what counts as revenue for operators.

Before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, sports wagering in Indiana was on a promising trajectory, with handle in April reaching $187.2 million.

The previous low handle was $35.2 million in September 2019, the first month of legal sports betting in the state.

MonthHandleHoldHold%MobileMobile %
Sept ’19$35.2 $8.6 24.4%$0.0 0.0%
Oct ’19$91.7 $11.5 12.5%$48.0 52.3%
Nov ’19$147.3 $9.3 6.3%$96.2 65.3%
Dec ’19$161.8 $12.0 7.4%$110.6 68.4%
Jan ’20$170.8 $12.9 7.6%$123.3 72.2%
Feb ’20$187.2 $11.1 5.9%$145.9 77.9%
Mar ’20$74.8 $5.50 7.4%$60.8 81.3%
Apr ’20$26.3 $1.56 5.9% $26.3 100.0%

While October 2019 marked the first month of mobile betting in Indiana, remote wagering accounted for 100% of the handle in April. All of the state’s casinos have temporarily closed their doors as part of the nation’s mitigation efforts, and none of the 11 recorded any retail handle last month, per the IGC report.

The NFL Draft stirred up more buzz than usual among the sports betting community, but only $1.3 million was bet on football in April in Indiana. The “other” category easily accounted for more handle than any other “sport” the state tabulates. As the Gaming Commission approved several non-traditional sports for wagering purposes – such as table tennis and obscure soccer leagues – Indiana sportsbooks last month drew more than $21 million in wagers in such markets.

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