After just four months of operation, Indiana is now the fourth-largest sports betting market in the nation, and industry observers expect the numbers to continue to grow. According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, $436 million was wagered on sports in Indiana from September 1 through December 31.
In December, the state’s monthly handle topped $160 million for the first time.
“We believe there was a thriving black market in Indiana,” said Matt Bell, chief executive officer of the Casino Association of Indiana. “The legislation that went in place has allowed Hoosiers to enjoy that same activity, but do it legally and in a way that the state benefits.”
The commission says sports gaming has generated $3.7 million in tax revenues for the state.
Bell talked about factors driving sports betting growth in Indiana on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Bell said Indiana is benefitting from the fact that neighboring states have yet to implement sports betting, although that is expected to change. He credits Indiana lawmakers and the gaming commission with crafting a legislative and regulatory structure built for success and attractive for investment.
“Illinois passed a bill just a month or so after Indiana did, but they haven’t been able to come to market, said Bell, who adds that has gamblers heading west across the state line to place bets in the Hoosier state. “They have a very expensive, government-centric regulatory and tax structure that’s prevented folks from making investment to come to market.” said Bell
Bell says he expects competition to heat up soon, with Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky launching sports betting in their respective states.