In somewhat of a national anomaly, sports betting activity for January 2023 in Indiana declined compared to previous returns. However, Indiana casinos countered that downturn with a strong performance in other gambling segments during the month.
The overall win was up from slots and table games at casinos in Indiana compared to December 2022 and January 2022. That increase was sufficient to make the bottom line attractive for the casino industry in Hoosier State.
Indiana casino numbers then and now
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) published the figures for January 2023 on Friday. Combined, the state’s 13 casinos reported $193.9 million in revenue from slots and table games. About $162.5 million of that came from slot play.
The prior month, the same gambling establishments won $192.7 million for a month-over-month improvement of less than a percentage point. Compared to the same month in 2022, however, the numbers look better.
In January 2022, Indiana casinos collected $179.3 million off slots and table games. Thus, January 2023’s figure represents an increase of about 7.6%. It’s a good thing they performed so well in these categories, too. Sports betting activity did little to help the cause.
Sportsbooks see downturn across Indiana
The fact that the Indianapolis Colts missed the playoffs for the second straight season might have put a damper on betting interest last month. Indiana sportsbooks, both online and physical, reported $427.1 million in bets and $36.4 million in revenue for January 2023.
The IGC report shows that basketball wagers outperformed football during the month by almost $65 million. Month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons in these regards are mostly unkind.
For December 2022, Indianans wagered $431.4 million on sports and the books reported $42.7 million in revenue off that total. In January of the same year, wagers came to $500.1 million and revenue to $35.5 million. Thus, there were downturns almost across the board for Indiana sportsbooks.
- January 2023 handle – down 1% month-over-month and 14.6% year-over-year
- January 2023 revenue – down 14.8% month-over-month but up 2.5% year-over-year
Wagers on football dropped about $27.6 million in January 2023 compared to January 2022. From December of last year to January of this year, football bets were down an even greater $45.6 million.
A look at the big picture of Indiana gambling for the first month of 2023 creates fodder for optimism, though.
Indiana’s gambling industry health remains strong
While a nearly 15% decline in sports betting revenue from one month to the next might seem a serious issue, it’s important to understand the place of sports betting in the grand scheme of casinos. For most, it’s merely an amenity and a planned operating cost.
Casinos butter their bread with slots and to a much lesser extent table games. If they see a positive return from sports betting, that’s gravy. In an annual comparison, Indiana casinos’ slot revenue grew by nearly $10 million.
For that reason, the gambling industry in Indiana remains robust. While 2023 isn’t off to any kind of record-breaking start, January turned in respectable numbers the casinos can build on for the rest of the year.