May’s handle is the lowest of the five months since the Buckeye State rang in 2023 with a massive simultaneous launch of retail and mobile wagering. Though spring is typically a slower period for betting with a limited inventory of sporting events, the 14.4% decline from April is notable considering promotional credits and free bets dipped only 4.3% to $23.2 million.
The OCCC’s Friday release also showed yet another state’s books thumping the betting public in May. Sportsbook operators in Ohio reaped $57.8 million in gross revenue, fashioning a hold just under 13% that ranks third in Ohio‘s five months of action. While the state has had a monthly hold of 12% or higher on gross revenue all five months, the win rate for May ranks only ninth among 26 states to release figures.
Ohio’s numbers ticked the nationwide hold on gross revenue for May above 11.5%, continuing to threaten the all-time post-PASPA mark of 11.7% set in September 2018 — on $817.3 million handle. With Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois the states left to report, May’s commercial handle is nearly eight times that amount at $6.5 billion.
When including sports betting kiosks run by the Ohio Lottery, the overall adjusted gross revenue inched over $58 million for May. The two entities generated $5.8 million worth of state taxes in May, with all but $31,323 of that total coming from sportsbooks. As debate in the Buckeye State legislature continues over raising the tax rate on sports wagering revenue to 20%, Ohio has already cleared $51 million in tax receipts since launch Jan. 1 as total AGR has surpassed $500 million.
Big hitters keep pressure on with promo offers
Running Top 10 May #SportsBetting handles by state:
1 New York $1.36B
2 New Jersey $778.9M
3 Nevada $527.4M
4 Pennsylvania $495.6M
5 Massachusetts ~$455M
6 OHIO $447.5M <-NEW
7 Virginia $403.7M
8 Maryland $320.2M
9 Michigan $305.3M
10 Indiana $283.4M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) June 30, 2023
Nearly 88% of the promotional offers in May came from four mobile operators: FanDuel, DraftKings, bet365, and BetMGM. In the case of FanDuel, the $6.8 million outlay equated to 28% of its $24.3 million in adjusted revenue. The online titan cleared $25.2 million in gross revenue thanks to a 15.9% hold as it also moved within $3.5 million of $250 million in gross revenue since launch. After practically overwhelming the market with $168.7 million worth of promotional credits in January, FanDuel’s outlay has slowed to $22.1 million over the last three months combined.
DraftKings nearly matched FanDuel credit for credit, racking up $6.5 million in such offers, though its overall number of $125.5 million since launch still runs a distant second to its rival. May’s promotional number came out to 37% of its $17.5 million in adjusted gross revenue, but DraftKings has also been running roughshod on the Ohio public at higher levels than in other states. In May, the operator crafted a 13.4% win rate on $137 million handle with $18.3 million in gross revenue, and DraftKings has had a hold of 11% or higher all five months. DraftKings also surpassed $1 billion handle since launch with May’s numbers.
A late entrant into some sports wagering markets, bet365’s spend-heavy strategy in Ohio mirrors the one it is using in Virginia. The $32.1 million handle for bet365 ranked third among all online operators, but the promotional outlay of $3.8 million for May equated to 85% of the $4.4 million it claimed in adjusted revenue. That lifted bet365’s total promotional spend in Ohio to $51.3 million — 48.7% more than its $34.5 million in AGR.
BetMGM is nearing the break-even mark when stacking AGR against promo spend, with revenue $335,000 shy of the $42.8 million in spend. Its handle plunged 22% from April to $29.7 million despite credits increasing 11.4% to $3.2 million. BetMGM narrowly missed a 14% hold for May, claiming $4.2 million in gross revenue.
Fanatics slow out of the mobile gate
Another operator expected to ramp up its spend is Fanatics, which did modest business in its first full month of action in the Buckeye State. It surpassed $1 million handle and had a robust 21.2% hold on gross revenue at just over $220,000. Its promotional outlay was more than double that amount at $470,000 despite having issues crafting the right offers to woo bettors.
Caesars Sportsbook rounded out the top five mobile handle figures at $24 million, while Barstool Sportsbook was the sixth and final book to reach eight figures, finishing just shy of $20 million. Tipico, which reached $10 million in accepted wagers in January and March as part of an aggressive early spend, reported $4.7 million handle for May, and its $9 million-plus in overall promotional credits is nearly $4 million more than its AGR to date.
Despite the general rout of the betting public online at most sportsbooks in most states, SuperBook failed to claim a piece of that action in Ohio, as bettors finished $7,220 ahead on $898,000 handle.