The December monthly revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) showed that the state’s newest land-based casino is already starting to reap the benefits of its move, and sports betting continues to rise.
Taxable adjusted gross revenue (AGR) from the state’s casinos in December rose more than $12.3 million from November to $175.1 million, That generated nearly $7 million in additional revenue for the state, as the wagering tax went from $40.7 million in November to $47.6 million last month.
Among the reasons for the increase was the Dec. 12 grand opening of Caesars Southern Indiana, the land-based casino that replaced the Horseshoe Southern Indiana riverboat casino.
In December, Caesars reported AGR of $21.4 million. That was more than $5 million better than the riverboat’s $16 million AGR the month before. That increase came even as the casino was dark for three days while Caesars officials made the move inland to its new home in Elizabeth, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. The monthly AGR was the highest for the casino since it earned $21.9 million in May 2018.
Indiana may see additional growth in tax revenue in its next report, as the state’s two racinos added table games to their floors on New Year’s Day. The expanded gaming law passed by legislators last year expedited the schedule that allowed the Indiana Grand in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park in Anderson to offer live blackjack, roulette, and other table games to customers.
Both central Indiana venues are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Sports Betting Growth Continues
In sports betting, the state’s sportsbooks reported a handle of $161.8 million in December. That was a $14.5 million increase from November, according to the IGC.
The biggest reason for the jump in betting was basketball betting. Wagering on college and pro hoops in one of the most passionate basketball states in the nation jumped nearly $9 million to $42.3 million in December.
The sportsbooks’ taxable revenues in December rose about $3 million from the previous month to nearly $12 million. The state’s sports wagering tax revenue jumped from more than $880,000 in November to $1.1 million last month.
The online sports betting apps continue to dominate in the state, as they accounted for 68.3 percent of the handle. DraftKings continues to lead the mobile market, as it was responsible for $66.7 million of the wagers in December, up more than $2.5 million from November.
However, FanDuel saw its handle increase by nearly 52 percent in its second full month in operation, from $23.7 million in November to December’s $36 million. Among the promotions FanDuel ran in the last month was a “Spread the Love” special that increased the spread in the Indianapolis Colts-New Orleans Saints Dec. 17 Monday Night Football game for every 250 bettors who took the Saints getting the points. Regardless of when a bettor placed their wager on the Colts, they were guaranteed to get the final spread.
A FanDuel spokesman told Casino.org 10,500 people took part in the special, with all of them getting the Colts and a whopping 51 points. Despite a record night for Saints quarterback Drew Brees that night, the Colts still managed to cover in a 34-7 loss.
More Mobile Apps Coming Soon
On Tuesday, the IGC announced that both Roar Digital and BetIndiana received their temporary vendor licenses. Roar Digital is a partnership between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings. It will serve as a mobile application for Boyd Gaming’s Belterra Casino Resort in Florence.
BetIndiana will serve as a mobile operator for the Majestic Star Casino in Gary. That casino will become Hard Rock Northern Indiana next year when it moves inland to a $300 million facility that celebrated its groundbreaking last week.
Frank Ignatius, founder and president of BetIndiana owner ISA Sports Gaming, told Casino.org that they will meet with IGC officials in the near future and determine a launch date.
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