Hoosiers wagered nearly $4 billion on sports in 2021, according to data from PlayIndiana, which tracks the state’s gambling industry.
Last year’s $3.8 billion betting blitz was more than double 2020’s total of $1.8 billion. The wagering netted the state about $29 million in tax revenue, up from $13.2 million in tax revenue in 2020.
Jake Garza, managing editor at PlayIndiana, says Indiana’s sports betting industry was able to find its footing after the pandemic forced many American sports leagues to pause, shorten or cancel their seasons in 2020 – the first full year sports gambling was legal in Indiana.
“Hoosiers could only bet on Korean baseball and table tennis in Belarus for a while there, which really took a hit to the numbers,” Garza said. “If not for the pandemic, 2020 might have looked a lot more like 2021 in terms of the overall money involved.”
True to its reputation, basketball was Indiana’s favorite sport, followed closely by football. Notre Dame sports squads and the Indianapolis Colts were Hoosiers’ favorite teams to bet on.
“March Madness was huge, hosting it in Indiana,” said Garza. “Not only is it a big event, but hosting sporting events like that, that attracts travelers (and) really gives outsiders a chance to see what Indiana has to offer.”
Sportsbooks walked away with $308 million in profits in 2021, up from $136 million in 2020.