Indiana Data Shows Kentucky Sports Betting Hitting Hoosier Retail Sportsbooks Hard

Indiana Data Shows Kentucky Sports Betting Hitting Hoosier Retail Sportsbooks Hard
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

When Kentucky finally passed a sports betting law in March, it meant that some residents would no longer need to cross state lines to bet on the Wildcats, Cardinals or any other team on the oddsboard. Many drove to Indiana regularly to bet online or at a local sportsbook.

With October being the first full month for online and retail Kentucky sports betting, we can finally start to see its impact on Indiana’s totals, which were released Monday morning. The data from the Indiana Gaming Commission shows that several brick-and-mortar facilities took a big hit.

Overall, the Hoosier State reported a sports betting handle of $429.7 million last month. That’s down 3.7% from the October 2022 handle of $446.2 million. The drop of more than $16.5 million resulted from a more than 50% decline at the state’s 14 sportsbooks, and four of those located just north of Kentucky reported a combined decline of nearly $15.9 million.

Online sports betting in Indiana rose marginally as Hoosier bettors wagered $412.1 million last month, compared to $410.6 million in October 2022.

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Retail Sports Betting Drying Up In Southern Indiana

The biggest fall came from Hollywood Lawrenceburg, located in the state's southeast corner. After generating a handle of $11.9 million in October 2022, it reported taking just $1.7 million in wagers last month. That was a drop of 85.5%.

While the Penn Entertainment casino is just across the Ohio River from Northern Kentucky, a major population center in the state, it’s also served as the closest retail sportsbook for Cincinnati residents, who have been able to bet online or at retail sportsbooks in Ohio since the start of the year. In January, Hollywood Lawrenceburg reported a retail sports betting handle of $6.5 million. That’s compared to the $13.2 million it took in wagers for January 2022.

Indiana’s Belterra Casino, which is located roughly halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati, saw its year-to-year handle decline by more than 70%, as the Boyd Gaming property took just $245,489 at its FanDuel brick-and-mortar sportsbook in October.

The two retail sportsbooks closest to Louisville, both operated by Caesars, saw their combined handle drop by more than $5 million. Caesars Southern Indiana’s handle fell from $3.7 million in October 2022 to just $838,005 last month, a drop of 77.6%, and Winner’s Circle Clarksville went from $3.8 million to $1.6 million, a 58.4% decrease.

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More than $325 Million Wagered In Kentucky

Kentucky still has not produced any formal figures for either September or October. However, at a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting on Oct. 31, Director of Sports Wagering Hans Stokke reported the state’s seven active sports betting apps had accepted more than $310 million since Kentucky online sports betting started on Sept. 28.

Kentucky sports betting apps available include Barstool Sportsbook (which is set to become ESPN BET on Tuesday), Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, Fanatics and FanDuel.

The state’s brick-and-mortar facilities, which began taking sports wagers on Sept. 7, have reported a handle of more than $15 million since they opened.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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