Indiana launched sports gambling roughly four and a half months ago, and the industry has been gaining steam ever since. From September 1 to December 31, sports gamblers in the state have been staying busy, placing bets on games from all the major and college sports leagues, and the latter inclusion of mobile platforms has really helped to boost the local market. Across the last four months of the year, the sports gambling industry in the state saw a total of $436 million in wagers placed, according to local media outlet Indy Star.
The media outlet points out that the amount is greater than what the Super Bowl took in as advertising revenue. It’s a poignant statement, given that Super Bowl LIV is right around the corner – on February 2 – and this is historically one of the most popular games in terms of sports wagers. Based on the initial reception in the Hoosier State, the upcoming football championship game is certainly going to give Indiana an even bigger boost.
Indiana was able to get its sports gambling industry running at the perfect time – just ahead of the last four months of the year. This is when most professional sports leagues are active, with NBA, NFL and NHL action are running through the end of the year. Only MLB resides in a part of the window, with the World Series coming to a conclusion on October 30 in 2019.
The Indiana Gaming Commission revealed that September was a decent month, with $35.2 million in wagers placed, and that the activity continued to gain in popularity as the year rolled on. October saw $91.7 million, November saw $147.3 million and December continued the upward climb with $161.8 million in bets. Mobile wagers, which were first allowed in October, ended up controlling 68% of the market share.
Michael Hicks, a Ball State University professor of economics, rightfully shows why mobile is so popular. He was quoted by Indy Star as stating, “You can download an app and bet on a college football game after two beers. Who wouldn’t do that?”
Hicks, who is also the university’s director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, adds, “Most casino goers are simply treating the casino like a substitute to going to a movie and having a popcorn. A couple going to a casino is not radically different than a regular date night.”
The casinos and sportsbooks have enjoyed the uptick in gambling action, as well. They saw $41.4 million in revenue over the period, and the state has received some bonus money, also. It took in $3.7 million in tax revenue after the sportsbooks went live. Asserts Max Bichsel of Gambling.com, “Indiana went from nothing to…this is effectively found money. The state is making money. The operators are making money. Everyone is making money.”