Indiana legal sports bets surge to nearly $92M in 2nd month

Posted at 12:21 PM, Nov 17, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The second month of legal sports betting in Indiana saw nearly three times as much money wagered than in its opening month, with much of that surge coming from bets placed using mobile devices instead of at casinos, state data shows.

Gamblers wagered a total of $91.7 million on sports in Indiana during October, compared to $34.5 million in September, according to a report released by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Regulated mobile betting began Oct. 3 when mobile sportsbook apps launched in Indiana, which attracted $48 million in bets for the month. Sports bets placed at casino windows or kiosks totaled $43.7 million, the report shows.

The state collected about $1 million in sports gambling taxes last month, up from about $800,000 during the first month of legal sports wagering in September. But those totals are far below what casinos paid in taxes from their winnings on slot machines and other games, which totaled $34 million in September and $38 million in October.

Football accounted for the most betting on an individual sport, at more than $41 million. Baseball accounted for nearly $10.5 million in bets.

More than half of the Indiana sports bets placed in October went through Ameristar in East Chicago, which was one of the first to launch mobile sports wagering through its partnership with DraftKings. Of the casino’s $46.2 million in total wagers, $39.4 million came via mobile devices.

Jeff Morris, a spokesman for Ameristar owner Penn National Gaming, said he couldn’t discuss specifics about the performance of the casino’s new sportsbook, "But we have been pleased thus far."

Noah Hirsch, vice president and assistant general manager at the Hammond Horseshoe Casino, said the casino is working with its parent company, Caesars Entertainment, on getting a mobile wagering app to customers.

Caesars Entertainment is Indiana’s biggest casino operator, also owning the two horse track casinos near Indianapolis, a casino near Louisville, Kentucky and off-track betting parlors in Indianapolis, New Haven and Clarksville.

"Our guests are eagerly awaiting that and we're definitely encouraged by the numbers that mobile is putting up in Indiana," Hirsch said. "We'll definitely want to have a piece of that as well."