After plummeting to an all-time low in April, sports betting handle in Indiana took a step forward in May.
The Indiana Gaming Commission released the state’s May sports betting numbers Wednesday, and sportsbooks showed a boost in betting action despite the absence of major American sports as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Indiana sportsbooks accepted $37,334,940 in wagers in May, up 41.9% from April’s $26,304,128. The $11 million increase in total monthly handle after April’s lows signals that the state is poised to see further rises in betting action as sports make their return this summer.
With casinos closed throughout the state in May, the only way to wager in Indiana continued to be via mobile. Sportsbooks held $3,179,968 in mobile bets, more than doubling the $1,559,884 held in April and resulting in $302,097 in revenue for the state.
“Online sportsbooks have proven to be resilient,” said Jessica Welman, an analyst at PlayIndiana.com. “Operators have been remarkably creative in keeping bettors engaged, even with fringe sports as the main attraction. There is no making up for what has been lost, but weathering the storm has always been the priority. And I think most, if not all, have been successful so far in doing that.”
The IGC has shown a willingness to adjust with the times, recently adding Professional Bull Riding and the Premier Lacrosse League to its list of approved events that sportsbooks in Indiana can take action on. “Other” sports once again accounted for the majority of money wagered in May, with $959,023 in bets placed on Korean KBO League baseball.
With the PGA Tour expected to resume play this weekend and with the potential return of other major American sports on the horizon, Indiana is poised to see a further jump in handle moving forward.