In Indiana, March Madness apparently translated into March Gladness for sports betting operators and the tax man.
March Madness Revenue Key Points
📈Indiana sports wagering handle climbed to more than $476.8 million for March📲$446.66 million came through mobile betting — almost 94% of all sports wagers🏀The NCAA men’s basketball tournament helped boost numbers across the board
With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament being the chief driver, total sports betting revenues, total handle and tax contributions all took giant leaps from February in the hoops-happy Hoosier State.
If the trend holds as U.S. jurisdictions report their monthly financial figures in coming days and weeks, March will provide a welcome bounce back from February, which saw a deep sports betting trough, especially in revenue categories.
In Indiana, sports wagering handle climbed to more than $476.8 million for March. This marked an increase of 16.5% from the previous month (about $409.1 million). In the same-month year-over-year March handle was up 50.5%, from ($316.2 million).
Not surprisingly, the favorite Indiana betting sport in March 2022 was basketball with $274.1 million of the monthly handle. The next category was parlay bets with $121.3 million.
Indiana Revenue Up 90.3%
However, it was in revenue where the jump was particularly dramatic. Indiana’s March sports betting revenue (taxable AGR) was $32.27 million, a whopping 90.3% increase from February (about $17 million) and up 22.5% from March 2021 ($26.4 million).
The state was also a beneficiary of the sportsbooks’ collective success. March sports wagering tax was more than $3.06 million, up 90.3% from February ($1.6 million) and up 22.5% from March 2021 ($2.5 million).
Of the total sports betting handle, about $446.66 million came through mobile betting — almost 94% of all sports wagers. The March mobile sports betting handle bested February by 15.9% and March 2021 by 55.8%.
Among sports betting operators, Ameristar Casino (partnered with DraftKings) was the leader in handle with about $145.9 million in wagers taken and Blue Chip Casino (partnered with FanDuel) was second with $143.8 million in handle. In AGR, though, the order was flipped. Blue Chip Casino had about $12.17 million in AGR, and Ameristar had $7.47 million in AGR.
Other States See Increases
Just a few states have reported March figures, but the early signs are encouraging for the U.S. sports betting market.
Iowa and New York reported their March figures on April 8 and both saw healthy increases in handle over February. West Virginia had an even better month when it reported on Monday.
The March sports betting handle in Iowa was $233.5 million, up 8.2% from February’s $215.9 million. Year over year Iowa saw a 44.7% increase from March 2021 ($161.4 million).
In New York, March handle increased 7.2%, going from $1.53 billion in February to $1.64 billion in March. The March figure was slightly less than January’s record of $1.67 billion.
West Virginia saw a March handle of $61.5 million, up 24.8% from February’s $49.3 million. The March total was also a 22.5% increase year over year.
So thanks to March Madness, the early reports from states show that the NCAA men’s basketball tournament helped boost numbers across the board. It also helps that March was a longer month than February, giving bettors more wagering opportunities. And looking ahead, April brings regular-season MLB betting and the NBA and NHL playoffs.
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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.