How Mobile Devices are Creating Millions for Indiana General Fund

Justin Armstrong

Want to make a bet? You can now in the state of Indiana and it’s generating millions for the state’s General Fund. In May 2018, the US Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalize sports betting, lifting a 25-year-old federal law that banned such wagering outside of Nevada. A little over a year later, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill legalizing sports betting in the state and in September 2019, Indiana became the 13th state to offer sports betting. If there is a game being played anywhere in the world, it’s almost guaranteed that if you are in the State of Indiana, you can make a bet on it.

Sportsbooks are available for virtually any sport that is being played – tennis, hockey, soccer, golf, fencing, bowling, darts, cricket, and of course fan favorites such as football. Based on the data released from the Indiana Gaming Commission, sportsbooks at casinos and off-track betting locations throughout the. Hoosier Heartland have taken in more than $35.2 million in sports wagers during the first full month of legalized betting, and it’s not going to slow down any time soon. The revenue from these bets goes into the State’s General Fund to support any number of line items including salaries and wages, insurance benefits and other projects that the state deems necessary.

Ironically, although Indiana is best known for its love of basketball, gamblers wagered far more money on football last month than on any other sport at $20.7 million. America’s pastime baseball accounted for $3.4 million in wagers. Another popular wager are parlay bets. A parley bet is one in which the gambler combines more than one wager. It might be on a different game and across sports, but both games must be won for the individual to collect on their winnings.

So how are our mobile devices contributing to this revenue stream? Chances are, if you listen to the radio or watch television, then you have more than likely heard an advertisement for one of the various sports betting apps. (I know I heard three on my way to work just today!) For Indiana, it all started on October 3, 2019 when Rush Street Interactive and DraftKings launched their online sportsbooks in the state so that participants could place bets from the convenience of their mobile devices. Other sportsbooks were quick to follow the trend and as of this writing, Indiana has four betting apps: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and BetAmerica.

These sites are very popular. How popular, you may ask? Consider this: The money shelled out on sports bets in Indiana during the state’s first four months of legal gambling was more than the advertising revenue generated by the Super Bowl. During those first. Four months., Indiana bettors spent $178.6 million on football; $114.4 million on parlays; $82.2 million on basketball; $40.5 million on other sports and $14 million on baseball. History shows that the popularity of these sites will only rise as time goes on and the state will continue to benefit big time considering that neighboring states such ads Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky do not allow sports betting. (Michigan has recently legalized and implemented it.)

Mobile sports betting accounts for 68 percent of all wagers in the state and experts say that number will most likely jump. Online betting in New Jersey and Pennsylvania accounts for more than 80 percent of total wagers with New Jersey trending past 85 percent in recent months. As more sportsbooks come into the market, more competition means more advertising and marketing to get consumers hooked. Although it can be detrimental to families when a hobby turns into an addiction, it has greatly benefitted the state’s coffers and it’s safe to assume that mobile gambling will continue to provide millions of dollars for Indiana over the years to come.

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