Revenue Projection for Indiana Online Poker Cut Nearly 20% Revenue Projection for Indiana Online Poker Cut Nearly 20%

If you’re a Hoosier who likes online poker and were looking forward to the day you could play online from Indiana, there’s been a dark cloud over your house for nearly two months.

It’s been nothing but bad news since late November. That’s when a state lawmaker, a proponent of expanded igaming in Indiana, pled guilty to federal charges that he took a bribe. Worse, it was from a gaming company looking for favors.

Worse still, the scandal was such a bad look, it compelled House and Senate leaders to put any plans to introduce online casino legislation in 2024 on ice. BetMGM bemoaned the scandal as “disappointing news” during a business update in early December.

Things have been so grim as of late, it would be understandable if a report that Spectrum Gaming Group released in July 2022 gave you solace. It was comforting to know that, according to Spectrum, Indiana online poker would make about $43.2 million in revenue in its first three years.

Well, Spectrum is back with updated projections for the Indiana Gaming Commission — and, of course, it’s more bad news. The firm estimated in a 114-page report released in late December 2023 that Indiana online poker would make $35.1 million in three years, nearly one-fifth lower than its projection from July 2022.

In a twist, online casino revenue from three states that Spectrum used to make its projections for Indiana saw increased revenue since July 2022.

What gives? Is some kind of trickery afoot? No, but the revised projection shows that while online poker remains popular, it’s not nearly the moneymaker that online casino is. And with online casinos making so much more money compared to poker, the less rosy numbers for online poker aren’t surprising.

There’s a little math. Let’s get through it.

Poker Was 1.7% of GGR in Three States

For starters, while there are six states with online casinos, only three — Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — were considered by Spectrum’s analysts as they built three-year revenue projections for Indiana igaming.

Spectrum excluded Connecticut and West Virginia because the two states had no active online poker rooms. Meanwhile, Michigan online poker wasn’t included because regulators in that state don’t separate online poker revenue from casino.

Regulators reported that for the 12-month period that ended in September 2023, Delaware had just $14.2 million in GGR. New Jersey and Pennsylvania fared much better, generating $1.8 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively.

According to Spectrum, only 1.7% of igaming GGR for the 12-month period came from online poker. That equates to about $35.1 million. Meanwhile, the remaining 98.3% of igaming GGR, approximately $3.5 billion in total, came from online casino gaming.

But the previous time Spectrum did their study, back in July 2022, the firm estimated that online poker accounted for about 2.2% of igaming GGR for the 12 months that ended in April 2022. That put online poker at about $43.2 million, compared to $2.8 billion for the rest of igaming GGR.

All of which means that projected online poker revenue, for the first three years of a legal market in Indiana, was down nearly 20% between the two reports by Spectrum.

In the big grand scheme of things, the Spectrum report is likely inconsequential — as mentioned earlier, no progress on igaming is expected on the legislative front in 2024. Spectrum’s new numbers are also certain to be scrutinized, by lawmakers on both sides of the issue.

What the new numbers do provide is a clearer picture of how much revenue online poker will make, if it were to ever become legalized in the Hoosier State. Stay tuned.

Estimated Indiana Online Poker Revenue, Years 1 to 3

12-Months Ending % Poker (1) Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total
April 2022 2.2% $10.3 million $14.6 million $18.3 million $43.2 million
July 2023 1.7% $8.3 million $11.8 million $15 million $35.1 million

Notes: (1) Compared to combined revenue in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Source: “Market and Policy Analysis: Prospective Internet Casino Gaming in Indiana,” (Figs. 1 and 3, pp. 3-4) by Spectrum Gaming Group.