May 24, 2023 - Sports

Indiana sports betting hits ceiling as Ohio ascends

Data: Legal Sports Report; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: Legal Sports Report; Table: Axios Visuals

Indiana's golden era for sports betting appears to be over.

Why it matters: Indiana smashed revenue expectations during its first four years of legal sports gambling, but competition from neighbors is loosening the state's grip on a lucrative business.

State of play: Indiana sportsbooks in April facilitated $321.4 million in wagers, down 26% from March and 11% from the same month a year ago, per, which is forecasting the state's first annual decline this year.

Catch up fast: Since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act five years ago this month, 33 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have created live, legal markets, four states have legalized betting but haven't begun operations, and two have active legislation or ballot initiatives, Axios' Jeff Tracy writes.

  • Ohio opened sports gambling in January and Kentucky legalized it earlier this year, fracturing a Midwest market that includes Illinois and Michigan.

The big picture: In the era of legal sports betting, Indiana has recorded the sixth-highest handle (a measure of all wager activity) in the U.S. at $11.7 billion, generating $980.3 million in revenue.

  • That's an average of more than $245 million in revenue per year since Indiana legalized sports gambling in September 2019, a pace that far exceeds the state's projections.

Between the lines: Indiana's success is a story about timing — it was the first of its neighboring states to offer legal sports betting. It's a somewhat rare example of early adoption for a state that didn't legalize Sunday alcohol sales until 2018.

By the numbers: FanDuel Sportsbook ($106 million handle in April) and DraftKings Sportsbook ($101.3 million) combined for almost two-thirds of Indiana's handle in April, followed by BetMGM Sportsbook ($34.2 million), Caesars Sportsbook ($27.2 million) and several others with less than $10 million.

The big picture: A brief snapshot of the industry's explosive growth…

  • May 2018-April 2019: $8.3 billion wagered, eight new markets launched.
  • May 2019-April 2020: $13.7 billion, nine new markets launched.
  • May 2020-April 2021: $34 billion, five new markets launched.
  • May 2021-April 2022: $74.2 billion, nine new markets launched.
  • May 2022-April 2023: $90.4 billion, three new markets launched.

What they're saying: Indiana is "simply finding its ceiling" now that competition is picking up, according to a analysis.

  • "Uninhibited growth couldn't go on forever, and Indiana does not have the tourism draws of neighboring states like Illinois, Ohio and Michigan."

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