Inside INdiana Business is reporting that two months after launching legalized sports gambling in the Hoosier State, Indiana’s online and retail handle in October nearly tripled from the previous month, according to data from the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Indiana’s online and retail, placing sports bets in person, sportsbooks combined to collect $91.7 million in bets in October, 161 percent higher than the $34.5 million wagered in September.
PlayIndiana.com, a Las Vegas-based media company that reports on the nation’s gambling industry, says the boost is due to an influx of Chicago-area bettors and by the launch of online sportsbooks.
“Indiana is quickly becoming a star among legal sports betting markets in the U.S.,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Indiana is so far ahead of its neighbors in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan, that the Hoosier State is well on its way to establishing itself as the gambling capital of the Midwest.”
Indiana has three online sportsbooks; BetRivers Sportsbook under the French Lick Resort license, DraftKings under the Ameristar Casino license in East Chicago and FanDuel operating under the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.
“Indiana is a unique market because it has so many large markets without legal sports betting so close to its borders,” Gouker said.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a sports-betting law into effect in June. However, the Illinois Gaming Board has yet to authorize a sportsbook. The state conducted a 30-day comment period in September to gather input from the public.
“This public comment period is an important step in a process to ethically and expeditiously establish a regulatory framework to allow sports wagering in Illinois,” said Illinois Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter. “In order to make the process of rule creation as transparent and independent as possible, it is important that the public and various stakeholders have an equal opportunity to submit comments.”
While the IGB has not said when it will make it’s next move, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting casino operators could start applying in December. Still, there’s no official timeline for when sports betting could go live in the state.
“Two of the top retail sportsbooks in the state are near Chicago, and the second largest is just over the border from Cincinnati. That shows just how much out-of-state money is flowing into Indiana sportsbooks.”