NFL inspires Indiana as igaming addition is sought after

An NFL inspired surge has seen Indiana set a number of records during September, with the strong performance of online coming after Jon Ford, a member of Indiana state senate, promised a new effort to legalise igaming in the state next year.

Utilising the return of football, sportsbooks across the Hoosier State exceeded $200m in bets in a single month for the first time, produced record operator revenue, and passed $100m in combined revenue since launching in September 2019.

“Indiana has benefitted from Illinois’ relatively slow launch and its inconsistency with in-person registration requirements, buying Indiana time to continue to capitalise on the Chicago market,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com

“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 $207.5m in September, eclipsing Indiana’s previous record of $187.2m set in February. September’s result is up 489 per cent from the $35.2m handle the industry posted in the same month one year ago, the first month of legal sports betting in the state.

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

The total should keep Indiana in fourth place nationally, ahead of Illinois, which produced $139.8 million in August, and Colorado. Online betting generated 83.5 per cent, or $173.2m, of September’s handle

An even more reliable revenue driver could be on the way, too, after Ford voiced a plan to introduce an online casino bill in 2021 with igaming identified as a key addition revenue stream for the state.

“Online casino gambling has enormous potential to generate revenue for the state, and its legalisation would almost certainly stem any slowdown in sports betting caused by increased competition from Indiana’s neighbours,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com.

“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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