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Indiana sportsbooks take $35.2M in bets in Sept.; KY General Assembly expected to consider bill next year

NKyTribune staff

Indiana’s retail sportsbooks enjoyed an impressive first month, according to PlayIndiana.com analysts.

Fueled by retail sportsbooks most closely situated to the Chicago market, Indiana retail sportsbooks accepted $35.2 million in bets in September, producing $8.6 million in adjusted gross revenue for the sportsbooks, according to official reporting released Wednesday.

Southern Indiana’s sportsbooks, at Hollywood Lawrenceburg casino and Belterra Casino in Florence, combined to accept almost $6 million in wages, most of which was bet at Hollywood.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg casino (provided)

The two casinos that are nearest Northern Kentucky had a combined “win,” the amount the casino collects after paying out wagers, of more than $1.3 million.

That number is significant as the Kentucky General Assembly is expected to consider legislation in the 2020 session that would legalize sports betting in the Commonwealth.

Supporters of the expected legislation say sportbooks would add much-needed revenue to the state’s coffers and potentially increase purses at its horse racing tracks, if permitted there.

With Indiana’s 9.5 percent tax, the state’s win (which does not include bets yet to be paid, such as a wager on the Colts to win the Super Bowl), injected $813,103 in tax revenue.

“Indiana’s sportsbooks are in their infancy, but their ability to capitalize on the Chicago market did not take long to produce dividends,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “This is the largest handle we’ve seen in a state’s first month of legal sports betting, and it happened without the benefit of online sports betting, which didn’t launch until October. That is a testament to Indiana’s existing infrastructure.”

Indiana’s launch of online betting in October signals rapid growth in the coming months. Nearly 80 percent of all bets in New Jersey are made online, and Indiana will eventually take the majority of its bets online, too.

One of the chief reasons Indiana has so much potential is its proximity to Chicago, in addition to large markets in Ohio and Kentucky. The first full month of betting provided plenty of evidence.

Horseshoe Hammond, near Chicago, generated an Indiana-best handle of $8.98 million, yielding $2.1 million in revenue. Ameristar Casino in East Chicago was second with a $5.4 million handle, producing a $1.3 million win. Ameristar edged Hollywood Lawrenceburg, near Cincinnati, which accepted $5.2 million in bets and won $1.2 million. They were followed by:

• Harrah’s Hoosier Park ($4.3 million handle, $1.31 win)

• Blue Chip Casino ($3.8 million handle, $957,470 win)

• Indiana Grand ($3.6 million handle, $764,908 win)

• Tropicana Evansville ($1.1 million handle, $301,231 win)

• Caesars Southern Indiana ($1.1 million handle, $293,348 win)

• Belterra Casino ($709,219 handle, $133,352 win)

• French Lick Resort ($939,222 handle, $217,523 win)

“The sportsbooks closest to the Chicago market have an obvious advantage in the retail sports betting market,” Kim Yuhl, analyst for PlayIndiana.com., said. “Even as online sports betting evens the landscape a bit, we expect that the Chicago-area sportsbooks will continue to receive the largest share of in-person bettors.”

The PlayUSA.com Network is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the United States.

Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino.

For more revenue information on Indiana sportsbooks, click here.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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