Indiana sportsbooks lost out of almost $160m throughout May analysts at PlayIndiana estimate, and while the resumption of sports edges ever closer a warning has been issued that the shutdown effects could be long-ranging for The Hoosier State.
The region is said to be facing the prospect of additional headwinds when the market does normalise, brought about due to action taken by a variety of neighbouring states.
When Indiana launched its market none of its bordering jurisdictions had legalised online or retail sports betting, however Michigan has now launched its industry, Illinois legalised and has eliminated its initial in-person registration requirement for online sportsbooks, and a bill in Ohio is also moving through the statehouse.
Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com, said: “In the short-term, the path to recovery is relatively straightforward. Sports must return. The good news is that the PGA Tour expected to start this weekend and the NBA and other major sports are closer to a return. The bottom line is that there is now a light at the end of this tunnel.”
Adding: “Indiana’s main advantage when it launched was that it had such limited competition in the Midwest. That is obviously changing, which was inevitable. But Indiana still has one of the most solid regulatory infrastructures in the US And that will help keep the state ahead of the curve.”
Market leader DraftKings/Ameristar Casino generated $20.1m in bets, up from $13.6m, in April, yielding $1.8m in gross receipts, up from $908,322. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino was second with a $12.3m handle, up from $9.7m.
While online sportsbooks struggled to attract bettors, the market did receive a new competitor with the launch of the Caesars Sportsbook app in late May.
“Adding a heavyweight like Caesars to Indiana’s mix will only help the market once it returns to something more closely resembling normal,” Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com, said. “It shows that operators still believe in the potential of the Indiana market even as it remains quiet.”
Online sportsbooks produced all of Indiana’s $37.3m in bets in May, according to official reporting released Wednesday. That was up 41.9 per cent from the record-low $26.3m a month earlier.
May’s wagers produced $3.2m in adjusted gross revenue, doubling the $1.6m in April, and yielded $302,097 in tax revenue for the state. But a more typical May would have attracted more than $200m in bets, according to estimates.
“Online sportsbooks have proven to be resilient,” said Welman. “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.”