Last month saw the highest casino win of the year, and Northwest Indiana casino revenue soared 112% YoY

Indiana sees 2nd-highest monthly sports betting handle in March

Ameristar’s Barstool sportsbook wrote the most in-person sports bets in Northwest Indiana.
Reading time 1:56 min
The total handle amounted to $316.7 million, as the state hosted NCAA's March Madness. All five casinos showed year-over-year gains last month.

The Indiana Gaming Commission released data Monday that shows $316.7 million was bet on sporting events in March at Indiana casinos and through mobile sports wagering applications, primarily on basketball, as the state hosted the entire NCAA's March Madness tournament.

That was below the $348.2 million monthly sports wagering record set in January, but ranked as the second-highest monthly handle since the market became legal in September 2019.

“It’s hard to know just how much it moved the needle, but March’s results were clearly fueled by a huge volume of NCAA Tournament games all in one place and by a number of fans who traveled to Indiana and then bet legally as they attended games. We may never see a betting event quite like that ever again,” said Jessica Welman, lead analyst at

Mobile sports wagering applications affiliated with the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago (DraftKings) and the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City (FanDuel) led all others in Indiana, accounting for a combined 64% of the statewide handle, The Times of Northwest Indiana reports. Ameristar’s Barstool sportsbook wrote the most in-person sports bets in Northwest Indiana, followed by the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond and Blue Chip. The Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg was tops statewide for retail sports wagers.

Altogether, sports wagering generated $2.5 million in tax revenue for the state last month, according to the Gaming Commission.

Data show March also saw the highest casino “win” of the year, so far, with $209 million in revenue after casinos paid winning bettors at slot machines and table games. Warmer weather and federal stimulus payments likely helped boost Indiana casino win in March above the $135.5 million tallied in February and $167.5 million in January.

The March result also was more than double the $98 million in March 2020 casino winRevenues at Northwest Indiana’s five casinos soared 112% year-over-year in March compared to the same month in 2020, when a growing COVID-19 pandemic forced the casinos’ closures in mid-month.

All five casinos showed year-over-year gains last month, with four of them even beating pre-pandemic revenues in February 2020, according to Indiana Gaming Commission revenue reports.
However, last month’s total revenues were down at all Region casinos except Ameristar in East Chicago when compared to March 2019.

Northwest Indiana’s casino market is in for a similar shakeup in the weeks ahead. For the first time in 25 years, there will be no legal gambling in Gary after Sunday when the Majestic Star Casino at Buffington Harbor on Lake Michigan permanently closes.

Majestic Star employees and some gaming equipment will be transferred over the next few weeks to the new Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, which is set to open at 5 p.m. May 14 adjacent to the Borman Expressway at Burr Street. The $300 million Hard Rock will be the first land-based casino in Northwest Indiana.

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