O-hi-o? More like O-HIGH-O!
The Ohio Casino Control Commission reported taxable sports wagering revenue of $208.9 million for January on Tuesday, obliterating the post-PASPA era record set earlier this month by New York as part of a stunning set of data points for the launch month in the Buckeye State.
Big numbers were projected in Ohio due to multiple factors, including the simultaneous launch of a large volume of mobile operators and it being a large state with many professional sports teams and rabid fan bases for nearly all of them. Throw in the traditionally aggressive promotional offers online sportsbooks were offering upon launch in a business-friendly state — Ohio’s tax rate is 10% — and the conversion added up to eye-popping numbers practically across the board.
The operator revenue haul last month was about $60 million more than New York’s now short-lived record of $149.9 million. There had been only 12 instances where monthly sports wagering revenue had topped $100 million in the post-PASPA era prior to Ohio’s figures being published, with the Empire State accounting for 10 and New Jersey and Illinois providing one each.
|STATE||Sports Wagering Handle||Month
|New York||$1,799,048,376||January 2023|
|New Jersey||$1,348,860,083||January 2022|
Handle topped $1.1 billion, meaning Ohio joined New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Illinois as the fifth state to record a monthly handle of more than $1 billion. The Buckeye State’s first month of handle ranked 16th all-time in the post-PASPA era and was also $177.5 million more than Nevada’s January handle, reported earlier Tuesday at nearly $935.8 million.
The statewide hold was an eye-watering 18.8%, trailing only Delaware among the 24 states and jurisdictions with commercial wagering to report January figures thus far. The state’s smallest mobile operator and two smallest retail books finished in the red, while FanDuel reported $103.2 million in revenue thanks to a blistering 20.9% win rate.
The state earned $20.9 million in tax receipts, with that month-to-month total likely to be watched closely in the state legislature considering Gov. Mike DeWine called for a doubling of the tax rate to 20%. Among states to report January figures, Ohio’s tax windfall for January trails only New York, which has a 51% tax rate.
Mobile operators throw kitchen sink at bettors
Running January 2023 Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state:
1 New York ~$1.8B
2 OHIO $1.11B <-NEW
3 New Jersey $1.08B
4 Nevada $935.8M
5 Pennsylvania $772.3M
6 Michigan $490.9M
7 Maryland $441.5M
8 Indiana $427.2M
9 Tennessee $410.8M
10 Louisiana $282.3M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) February 28, 2023
In its monthly breakdown of figures, the OCCC provided promotional credits by operator, which showed again just how deep the pockets are of top operators FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM. The overall amount of promotional credits given to bettors totaled $320 million — a figure that would currently rank 10th nationally in handle for January on its own.
FanDuel was the runaway leader in giveaways, dishing out an astounding $168.7 million. It was money well spent, though, as its handle of $494.2 million accounted for more than 45% of the $1.09 billion in overall mobile handle. DraftKings also did not skimp when it came to doling out freebies, with $86.7 million in promotional credits.
DraftKings also had a strong debut in the Buckeye State with a 16% hold to claim $55.1 million from nearly $344 million handle in accounting for 31.5% of the mobile marketplace. BetMGM staked its claim as No. 3 operator, with $82.1 million in accepted wagers while showing a willingness to court business with an outlay of $27.3 million for promotional credits.
Of the nine mobile operators that reported at least $1 million in revenue, Caesars was the lone book to have more revenue than promotional outlay. It generated $4.1 million in revenue compared to $3.7 million in promotional spend while posting a 13.1% win rate on $31.5 million wagered.
The other operator with an eight-figure promotional spend to mark its Ohio entrance was bet365. Its $16 million in giveaways helped it grab the No. 5 spot for handle with $38.6 million, while a 21.8% hold resulted in $8.4 million in revenue.
Barstool Sportsbook, which has plenty of retail presence in Ohio through PENN Entertainment, was fourth in handle at close to $45.9 million. Its $5.4 million in revenue came within $75,000 of its promotional spend in January, as it posted an 11.8% hold.
Hard Rock ($20.7 million) and Tipico ($10.7 million) were the only other mobile operators to reach eight figures for handle, with Hard Rock having a $1.17/$1 promotional spend-to-revenue balance for its $3.5 million in winnings. Tipico’s balance was $2.21/$1 after claiming more than $1.7 million from bettors.
Betr, the microbetting site co-founded by reality star-turned-boxer Jake Paul, made its national debut with close to $1.1 million handle and over $106,000 in revenue for a 9.7% win rate. Betly (known as MVGBet, locally) was the lone online operator to post a loss in January, paying out $9,629 on top of the more than $203,000 in accepted wagers.
Surveying the retail scene
The inaugural #SportsBetting numbers 🧵for #Ohio via the OCCC. Han/Rev/WR by category
Sport Stadia: $977.8K/$196.9K/20.14%
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) February 28, 2023
The state’s four casinos generated nearly $1.7 million in revenue among them, posting a 13.4% hold on $12.5 million handle. JACK Casino in Cleveland proved to be the best brick-and-mortar venue for the betting public — the book was held to a 7.7% win rate on $3.5 million wagered.
Among racinos, Scioto Downs proved most friendly for in-person wagering as bettors limited the Columbus-based horse racing track and Caesars-powered sportsbook to a 4.2% hold on $1.8 million handle. Track wagering statewide totaled close to $9.5 million, with the seven locations claiming over $1.3 million in winnings for a 14.2% win rate.
The three team-related venues accepting wagers — Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati (BetMGM), Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Caesars) and the temporary bar location of FC Cincinnati (SuperBook) — reported nearly $1 million in handle, with BetMGM and SuperBook posting losses of $8,646 and $223, respectively.
The Ohio Lottery, which handles sports wagering via kiosks operated by licensed vendors, previously reported January handle totaling more than $850,000 from 772 sports betting locations statewide. Those machines generated just over $116,000 in revenue for a 13.7% hold, with the lottery receiving just over $28,000 as its share.