NFL Helps Indiana Sportsbooks Hit Record $207 Million In September, According To PlayIndiana

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Indiana sportsbooks used the return of the NFL to launch itself into new territory in September, surpassing $200 million in bets in a single month for the first time, producing record operator revenue, and passing $100 million in combined revenue since launching in September 2019. And in doing so, the Hoosier State shook off the growing challenge from neighboring Illinois in the pecking order for U.S. sports betting markets, according to PlayIndiana analysts.

“Indiana has benefitted from Illinois’ relatively slow launch and its inconsistency with in-person registration requirements, buying Indiana time to continue to capitalize on the Chicago market,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for “Indiana’s balanced regulatory framework remains attractive to operators, which has kept the market on relatively firm footing, too. Those factors were key in kicking off the football season in record fashion.”

Bettors wagered $207.5 million in September, according to official reporting released Friday, shattering Indiana’s previous record of $187.2 million set in February. September’s result is up 489% from the $35.2 million handle the industry posted in September 2019, the first month of legal sports betting in the state.

September’s bets produced $14.3 million in adjusted gross revenue for the state’s operators, up 66.9% from $8.6 million in September 2019 and topping the previous record $12.2 million set in January.

Since launch, sportsbooks have now generated:

  • $109.4 million in revenue.
  • $10.4 million in state taxes after injecting $1.4 million in September.

September’s totals should keep Indiana in fourth place nationally, ahead of Illinois, which produced $139.8 million in August, and Colorado.

Football betting was paramount, attracting $48.4 million in bets even with the Big 10 football season postponed, as bettors flocked to bet on the Indianapolis Colts.

“The strong start to the season by the Colts has undoubtedly spiked interest in football betting,” Welman said. “With Big 10 football planning a return this month, and assuming the Colts remain a contender, sportsbooks are suddenly eyeing a particularly busy fall.”

Online betting generated 83.5%, or $173.2 million, of September’s handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino topped the online market again with $89.4 million in bets, up from $73.7 million in August. September’s wagers led to $3.2 million in gross receipts.

Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks are inching toward normalization, combining for a $34.3 million handle in September. Hollywood Lawrenceburg’s $9.9 million handle topped retail books.

“Even with challenges ahead, Indiana’s sports betting industry has the potential for more growth,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for “The market is still just 13 months old. And many of the advantages that made Indiana an instant success — including strong support of local teams such as the Colts, and easy access to large markets such as Cincinnati and Louisville — will remain for the foreseeable future.”

An even more reliable revenue driver could be on the way, too, after State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) promised a new effort next year to legalize online casino gambling in the state.

“Online casino gambling has enormous potential to generate revenue for the state, and its legalization would almost certainly stem any slowdown in sports betting caused by increased competition from Indiana’s neighbors,” Gouker said. “With a maturing online sports betting market, Indiana already has strong infrastructure in place to quickly ramp up. That would put the market on the path of success.”

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