Pent up demand. After sports fans were left without things to watch and things to bet on throughout most of April, May, and June, the month of July was like an oasis in the desert. Major League Baseball returned. UFC and NASCAR kept rolling right along. Golf got a bigger following. The end of the month featured some NBA regular season action.
It led to a massive jump in sports betting handle in Indiana. So much of a jump that it was enough to push the Hoosier State over $1 billion in handle in just 10 months. A large portion of that handle came once mobile sports betting launched on October 3, 2019. October, November, December, January, and February were all very robust for the books with all of the major sports going on. Then COVID-19 hit in March.
It wiped out March Madness for a state that would have seen an enormous NCAA Tournament handle with so many basketball fans in the state. It wiped out the start of the MLB season. It wiped out the playoff pushes in the NBA and the NHL.
Over three months worth of pent up demand gave Indiana some huge numbers for July. Indiana went from a really respectable handle of $29.8 million in June to nearly $71 million in July.
States around the country are facing massive budget deficits because of COVID-19 and the states that experience increases in taxable revenue are going to relish the opportunity to add some more cash to the coffers. The increased handle gave the state over $6.7 million in adjusted gross revenue and nearly $700,000 in taxes.
It certainly isn’t where lawmakers and operators hoped they would be, but given the circumstances, things could be a lot worse…like they were in April, May, and June. The limited college football season will cut into taxable revenues for the fall, but the big increase in July is encouraging because it shows that bettors are going to find whatever they can to get their action.
As expected, the Ameristar East Chicago property, a DraftKings Sportsbook, pulled in the most betting dollars. The Blue Chip Casino, a FanDuel Sportsbook property, was a clear second. Those two combined for more than $58.5 million of the $70.9 million handle. For a breakdown on all of the properties, here is the commission’s monthly report.
We’ll see what August holds, as the NBA playoffs are in full swing, along with the NHL playoffs, MLB, golf, UFC, NASCAR, and the upcoming Indy 500.