Online sportsbook operators in the state of Ohio have facilitated over $3 billion in total sportsbook bets from January-April of 2023. Of that $3 billion, $449 million has been grossed in revenue and $49 million has been generated in taxes for the state.
January was the Biggest Month for Ohio Sports Betting
|January||$1.1 Billion||$209.3 Million|
|February||$638.8 Million||$82.8 Million|
|March||$737.2 Million||95.1 Million|
|April||$520.6 Million||63.8 Million|
A majority of this revenue, $209.3 million, was generated in January — the first month of legal sports betting in the state. With the exception of a brief rebound during March Madness, Ohio sports betting handle numbers have consistently fallen from this January high, bottoming most recently in April of this year.
January’s $1.1 billion handle mark is over 32 percent higher than the state’s second best month in March.
Ohio’s Monthly Handle Decreases are Consistent with Typical Spring/Summer Slowdown
Despite a massive drop-off between January and February, Ohio’s sports betting handle numbers are otherwise consistent with the ebbs and flows of the market that come as a product of popular demand for certain events on the sports calendar, such as the NFL playoffs and March Madness.
The chart above shows the change in Ohio’s handle for each of the first four months of 2023 alongside what Ohio’s handle would look like if the US average rate of change was applied given the same starting point.
There is a clear disparity between how much Ohio’s handle dropped from January to February and how much the U.S. market as a whole dropped off during the same period. While the aggregate US sports betting market saw a 28 percent decrease from January to February, Ohio saw a 41 percent decrease. For each of the next two months however, Ohio’s rate of change in their sports betting market was within 3 percentage points of the US as a whole.
January-February Lull Widely Attributed to Decrease in Promotional Credits
In January alone, sportsbook operators gave away over $320 million in promotional betting credits. By March the number of betting credits available in the state had dwindled to $44.5 million, and in April this number decreased even further to $24.4 million.
As more bettors go through their initial allotment of sign-up bonuses, the volume of overall sports betting continues to decline. When coupled with the general slowdown in the sports calendar, one arrives at an April handle figure that is less than half of what was generated in the first month.
Football Season Expected to Bring Resurgence in Handle
A state known for its football heritage, one thing that Ohio has going for it that other legal betting states do not is an untapped college football betting market, at least on a local level. Ohio State football has not played a single game since sports betting was legalized in the state on January 1.
While there is limited data available on how much college football moves the needle, the start of the season on September 2nd is expected to bring thousands of new users to online betting platforms.
Moreover, individuals who have already signed up are expected to increase wagering volume come the fall between weekly college football and NFL games.
Come September, industry analysts will have a better idea of the true size of Ohio’s online sports betting market.