Setting a high bar for yourself has one major downside; from that point on, it’s going to require more to maintain that standard and demand more yet to top that achievement. September’s gaming revenue figures are an example of that in Indiana.
Indiana’s casinos and sportsbooks failed to match their performances from a record September 2022 this year. However, it isn’t necessary for these gaming licensees to constantly outdo themselves in order to be healthy.
Indiana casinos see gaming activity fall off
If you’re looking for an explanation as to why Indiana casinos’ revenue from poker, slots and table games fell 5.5% in September compared to the same month in 2022, there is at least one clear factor behind the drop. The casinos saw less action overall.
The amount of money that Indianans fed into slot machines at the state’s casinos and racetracks in September fell. The same thing went for what players dropped on table games. However, the declines were less than 5% in both cases.
Regardless, what looked like a weaker fiscal year after August Indiana gaming revenue numbers came out seems to be even more the case now. Indiana’s casinos are now down 5.1% for the current fiscal year in comparison to FY22-23 through its first three months.
If there was any kind of silver lining in an annual comparison for Indiana’s gambling industry, sports betting provided it.
Sports betting activity picks up as predicted
While players weren’t as adamant about feeding slots in September, sports bettors in Indiana celebrated the return of Indianapolis Colts games. During September, Indianans wagered over $404.1 million on sports using the state’s licensed books according to the Indiana Gaming Commission.
That represented an improvement of over 5.4% compared to September 2022’s betting total. Books also won about 10.2% of that money, claiming a solid month’s return in that regard. At the same time, an annual comparison is again unflattering.
Compared to September 2022, sportsbooks’ win total was down 19.7%. Additionally, for the fiscal year to date, win for sportsbooks is down 9.9%. That creates a similar narrative for Indiana’s gaming industry as a whole.
- September gaming tax down 8% year-over-year (YOY)
- September total gaming revenue down 8.5% YOY
- Fiscal year to date total gaming revenue down 5.8%
While those numbers look undesirable by themselves, it’s important to view them in the proper context. A deviation of less than 6% from a record fiscal year is probably a result many Indiana gaming licensees are still happy to see.
Additionally, there are still nine more months to go. Those include some of the strongest months historically for Indiana’s casinos. By the time the year is over, these revenue numbers could compare closer to FY22-23.