The Hoosier State has ended a rocky first year of legal sports betting on a high note, by posting one of its best months to-date thanks to the return of major sports across the US.

Indiana’s August handle, of $169m across online and retail, was the state’s third-largest monthly total since the industry launched on September 1, 2019, and the largest since sportsbooks generated a record $187.2m in February, according to official reporting.

August’s bets produced $9.8m in adjusted gross revenue, up 47.7 per cent from July’s $6.7m, and yielded $934,314 in tax revenue for the state.

“A rebound was inevitable with such an active sports schedule in August, but seeing such an active month is awfully welcome news for Indiana’s sports betting industry,” stated Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com

“August’s results are a clear signal that we are turning the page on its darkest days. The state’s status among legal jurisdictions is relatively safe for now. But Indiana also faces some headwinds, including increased competition in Illinois and Michigan.”

Analysts at PlayIndiana say that last month’s performance keeps the state’s increasingly tenuous place as the fourth-largest legal market in the US in place.

Online betting generated 85.1 per cent, or $143.9m, of August’s handle, that is down from 91.1 per cent in July as retail sportsbooks continue to work to regain their footing.

DraftKings/Ameristar Casino remained the online market leader with $73.7m in bets, up from $32.9m in July. That produced $5.2m in gross receipts, up from $2.2m July. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino followed with $50.1m in bets, up from $24.2m.

Retail sportsbooks picked up in August generating a $25.1m handle, with Hollywood Lawrenceburg’s $6.9m leading the market.

“Even though Indiana’s industry is 1, it is still gaining maturity,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Online sportsbooks like BetIndiana and theScore Bet are expected to launch soon, and the growth of major players like PointsBet and BetMGM have been stunted because they launched just before the shutdown. The more sportsbooks that launch in the state, the higher the level of competition will become, and that will be good for bettors.”

Across the first 12 months Indiana has produced $1.2bn in wagers, $94.8m in adjusted gross revenue and $9m in state taxes, however, and trailed only Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in total wagers. 

“This has been an eventful first year for Indiana sportsbooks, and increasing competition from neighbouring states and rapidly growing jurisdictions such as Colorado will continue to put pressure on Indiana’s status,” added Welman. 

“An Illinois expansion of online betting could really affect Indiana. In that case, the state’s sportsbooks will have to be creative in attracting new bettors within the state to help blunt the loss of the Chicago market. And Indiana is still in position to capitalise on large markets in Ohio and Kentucky.”