Ohio’s sports betting market launched itself into elite national company on New Year’s Day.
With mobile and retail sports betting commencing at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, Ohioans missed out on a chance to bet the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff — Ohio State had lost a few minutes before — but showed intense interest in the 16 wagering platforms that were active at the time.
According to data compiled by GeoComply, which manages geolocation and anti-fraud for numerous jurisdictions including Ohio, more than 11.3 million online betting transactions were recorded over New Year’s weekend. That accounted for 784,000 unique accounts. These transactions don’t necessarily translate perfectly in wagers being placed — just the system assuring the would-be bettor was inside Ohio borders — but is a good indicator of interest.
During the first hour of legal wagering in the state, more than 234,000 geolocation transactions were recorded. That suggests that Ohio surpassed Kansas’ first day of online wagering availability on Sept. 1. In the first eight hours in Kansas, GeoComply recorded 520,000 geolocation checks.
The 11.3 million transactions led all of the 20 live mobile sports betting jurisdictions from Jan. 1-2 where online sports betting is active. New York, which has been underway with mobile and online for more than a year and has about eight million more residents, was second with 9.3 million geolocation transactions, followed by Pennsylvania (8.2), New Jersey (6.7), and Michigan (5.8).
Cincinnati was the hot spot, according to GeoComply, with 1,898,000 geolocation transactions. Columbus, the most populous city in Ohio, was next with 1,033,000 transactions, followed by Cleveland (772,000) and Toledo (619,000).
“We are thrilled to welcome another state into the regulated online sports betting sector. As expected, residents of the Buckeye State enthusiastically greeted the market at the moment the calendar changed over to 2023.
“Today, about 44 percent of the American population can bet online with legal and responsible operators. The launch of regulated online sports betting in Ohio will better protect its citizens, with an increased commitment to responsible gambling and new funding for critical state programs.”
– GeoComply SVP of Compliance Lindsay Slader.
Ohio Won NYE, Maryland Feasted on Thanksgiving Bets
Ohio sports betting definitely won New Year’s Eve. But it didn’t win the entire holiday season.
Maryland’s Thanksgiving Weekend buffet of 16.5 million geolocation transactions led the nation after online and mobile betting launched there on Nov. 23. The performance came over seven operator platforms and 477,365 unique accounts.
The Old Line State became the post-pie moneyline state with 3.7 million geolocation transactions on Thanksgiving Day,
Retail betting in Maryland started in December 2021.
Where Does Ohio Fit as a Sports Betting Market?
In the upper echelon, if the New Year’s fervor keeps us. With two NFL and MLB teams, in additiom to the NBA, NHL, and numerous popular college programs — including and beyond Ohio State — within state lines, Ohio has plenty to interest the locals.
According to GeoComply, around 784,000 unique sportsbook accounts were created during the first two days of launch in Ohio, equal to about 6.7% of the population, dwarfing New York‘s 3.3% in the comparable time frame. While the population shortfall makes consistently beating New York unlikely, Ohio figures to size up well with its fellow Midwestern states, like Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.