Ohio sports betting hits $1.1 billion in wagers in opening month

1 March 2023
Ohio sports betting launched on 1 January 2023.

Ohio sports betting launched on 1 January 2023.

In its first month for legal sports wagering, Ohio recorded $1.1 billion in bets and saw $208 million in revenue. How impressive of a start is this for Ohio? Well, out of the 36 states to launch sports betting in the U.S., only New York has put up better numbers in an opening month.
The 16 online operators were responsible for $205 million of that revenue with the majority of bets placed online, so land-based books only accounted for just north of $3 million of the revenue. Some operators had a much bigger impact. FanDuel ($494.2 million) accounted for 45% of January's handle while DraftKings ($344 million) was responsible for 31% of the handle. The next highest was BetMGM ($82.1 million) who came in at just over 7%. Barstool Sportsbook added nearly $46 million and bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook contributed $38 million to January's handle.
In addition, the four casinos in Ohio also reported $86 million in gaming revenue for the opening month of 2023.
According to the Commission’s reports, bettors in Ohio came away with over $880 million in winnings, with $864 million of those from the online sportsbooks. Those 16 operators were welcomed into Ohio with $114 million in net revenue for the opening month.
Sports wagering became legal in Ohio on 1 January 2023 and immediately saw impressive usage numbers over the opening weekend. GeoComply recorded 11.3 million geolocation transactions in Ohio over the course of New Year’s weekend. This vaulted The Buckeye State to the top of the list of states with the most geolocation volumes recorded by GeoComply over the New Year’s weekend, even surpassing New York.
However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing from the get-go. In the first week of operation, several sportsbooks were hit with fines from the Ohio Control Commission.
On 4 January, the Commission announced it would fine Penn Interactive $250,000 after Barstool Sportsbook hosted its college football show in November at the University of Toledo. In doing so, Barstool violated the state’s mandate against promoting sports gambling on a college campus.
A day later, the Commission notified BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings that it intended to take administrative action against them. The three ran sports gaming advertisements on several platforms that violated provisions in both Ohio law and the Commission’s rules that require sports gaming advertisements to clearly and conspicuously contain a message designed to prevent problem gambling as well as a helpline number to help access resources.
To be fair, in the early stages it isn’t very uncommon for there to be hiccups as we just saw Massachusetts have land-based books break the rules early on as well.
It will be interesting to see the February numbers compared to the opening month of operation. Although, with the Super Bowl taking place last month, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to have reports of another large amount of bets rolling through the 16 online operators.

Dan Ippolito

Articles by As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.