Indiana sportsbooks slowed to less than $200m handle for July

By Isabella Aslam

Indiana’s sportsbooks slowed to less than $200m handle for the first time in nearly a year. However, the volume was still adequate enough to point the state's lifetime handle in the right direction past $4bn, $3bn of which has been generated over the last 12 months. This was enough to push Indiana through a significant milestone, becoming the state with the smallest population – other than Nevada – to reach $4bn in lifetime handle. 

The slowdown in July confirmed that the month's figures are historically the lowest month in sports betting volume in the US. This also continued throughout the Olympic Games and NBA Finals, which gave July an unusually busy sports calendar, according to the state's gaming industry tracker, PlayIndiana. However, Olympic betting is traditionally not that popular, as stated by XLMedia's Jason Ziernicki.

According to official reporting, online and retail sportsbooks took bets worth the amount of $194.5m for July, which is 21% down from $246.3m in June. Sportsbooks accepted $6.3m in wagers per day over the 31 days of July, down from $8.2m per day in June. 

In July, its gross gaming revenue was $17.2m, down 35.6% from $26.7m, equaling a 8.9% hold. Adjusted gross revenue came in at $17.5m, producing $1.7m in state taxes. 

Jessica Welman, Analyst for PlayUSA, said: “Sports betting is ultimately for entertainment, and this time of year it can take a backseat to long weekends at the lake or summer barbecues. 

“With people travelling at an accelerated rate this summer, it appears that the trough is even more pronounced than usual. But July should be the low point, as bettors begin to return from their summer vacations in August and excitement builds for the upcoming football season.” 

In relation to the pandemic-altered numbers produced in 2020, Indiana's results aren't dissimilar to others. The pandemic saw the lowest volume-months across the US. The sport that took the highest figures, topping all other sports, was baseball.

The NBA Finals fueled $26.8m in basketball betting through July; this, however, was down from $77.1m in June. Overall, basketball generated $896.9m in bets thus far this year.   

Nicole Russo, Analyst for PlayIndiana, said: “Indiana’s love of basketball has helped shield the state’s sportsbooks from some of the more pronounced seasonal dips experienced in other states, so a smaller volume of games in July was felt.  

“Betting interest on the Olympics appears to have been modest at best, and even with the NBA Finals being later than usual, it wasn’t enough to overcome fewer games being on the board.” 


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