Indiana Casino Revenues Continue Downward Spiral

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A general view of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is shown in Gary, Indiana. Image taken from Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana's official Facebook page.

October marked the eighth consecutive month in which casino gambling revenue tumbled from the previous year. However, the report from the Indiana Gaming Commission revealed sports betting revenue saw an increase from the month before in the Hoosier State.

Troubling Trend Continues

According to a recent release by the Indiana Gaming Commission, casino operators in the state are not too happy with the troubling trend that has produced an eighth straight month of year-over-year decline in adjusted gross revenue.

Last month revealed more of the same, as October’s year-over-year adjusted gross revenue fell 10.3% to $169.5 million. It was also a $7.3 million decline from the previous month, which has casino operators mulling the state of the industry.

This is not a case of a few major casinos experiencing slumps while others are seeing slight increases. No, all 12 casinos in the state have reported declining earnings, and slot machines, the cash cows of the gaming industry, dropped 5.4% from September to $153.3 million.

Ups and Downs

Horseshoe Hammond was hardest hit in year-over-year declines, watching their revenues drop a staggering 21.3% from the previous October. On the other end of the spectrum, Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, located in Gary, maintained its position as the most popular casino in the state with $31.3 million in revenue.

If there is any positive news in October to be had, Caesars Southern Indiana and Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, saw a 6.8% and 6.3% monthly increase, respectively.

Despite the recent spate of troubling news, it is estimated that Indiana’s casinos will end with a combined yearly revenue of $2.25 billion, down less than 6% from last year’s revenues of $2.39 billion.

Sports Betting Mixed Reviews

The good news is that Indiana’s sports betting handle in October increased by 6.3% from September to $429.7 million, but the year-over-year data showed a handle decrease of 4% from October 2022. Revenue also slumped from $46.9 million last October to $45.2 million in October 2023.

There are a few existential factors involved in the decreasing sports betting handle in Indiana. Ohio launched sports betting in January, which means Buckeye State bettors no longer have to cross the border to bet with Indiana’s digital sportsbooks.

We should also note that neighboring Kentucky launched its retail and mobile sports betting industry in September which will undoubtedly cut into Indiana’s numbers moving forward.

Mobile Betting Frenzy

In the race for mobile sports betting dominance in the Hoosier State, it is not surprising that the two heavy hitters in the industry, DraftKings and FanDuel, are both vying for supremacy in the market as they do in virtually every other domestic jurisdiction in which they compete.

DraftKings accepted $172.8 million —or 40%— of all October’s sports bets in Indiana and increased its handle by a whopping $20 million from last October. FanDuel also posted an $11 million increase from last October with $147 million in accepted bets in October, which equated to 34% of the market.

DraftKings and FanDuel were not the only sportsbooks in Indiana to post year-over-year gains, as Unibet also experienced a jump in October from last year.