Ohio Sportsbooks Cross $1 Billion Handle Threshold in First Month

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More than $1 billion was wagered with legal Ohio sportsbooks in January 2023, instantly making the Buckeye State one of the largest sports betting markets in the country.

According to data released Tuesday by the Ohio Gaming Control Commission, the state’s sportsbooks tallied $1,113,251,403 in handle throughout the month. Legal sports betting launched in Ohio at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Ohio Sports Betting, January 2023

Handle Winning PaidVoided WagersPromotionsRevenueTaxable Revenue
$1,113,251,403$883,651,489$20,678,572$319,983,071$208,921,342$208,939,840

Ohio crossing the $1 billion threshold in its first month with legal betting is remarkable, as not many legal sports betting states have ever hit that number.

In September 2021, the quick-to-mature New Jersey sports betting market became the first state to hit the $1 billion plateau. Nevada has also done it several times since, while New York is an outlier that blows past $1 billion in handle nearly every month.

Of the January handle in Ohio, $1,090,265,212 was bet online or via mobile devices (97.8% of the overall figure), according to the report.

Meanwhile, Ohio sportsbooks held (or won) $208,939,840. With a hold percentage of 18.8% — far greater than the industry average — the state generated $20,893,984 in tax revenue at the 10% rate. The books paid out $883,651,489 in winning bets.

FanDuel, DraftKings Dominate Ohio Market out of the Gate

When it comes to early market share, there were two clear winners in Ohio. Household names FanDuel and DraftKings were dominant in January.

With help from the Cincinnati Bengals, Ohio sportsbooks wrote more than $1 billion in sports betting handle in January (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Taking about $494.2 million in online bets, FanDuel accounted for more than 45% of that market. DraftKings wrote $344 million in online wagers (about 31.6%).

BetMGM came in third place with $82.1 million in total handle, followed by Barstool ($45.9 million), Bet365 ($38.6 million), and Caesars ($31.5 millon).

When is Hold Percentage Too High?

While it’s just one month of data — and we’re likely to see fluctuations in the months ahead — the hold percentage of 18.8 is startling in that it’s more than double the typical rate.

The big number may be satisfying to the operators, as well as the state that’s collecting 10% of that $209 million in tax revenue, but it raises concerns among industry watchdogs.

If the books keep too much of the money wagered, the thinking goes that players will eventually run out of money to bet with.

Whatever is held by the sportsbook is not returned to the player. The larger the hold percentage, the more money customers lose.

https://twitter.com/capjack2000/status/1630598640912695300

The industry will continue to keep its eye on Ohio, but the early handle numbers are signs of a robust sports betting market in the Buckeye State.

About the Author
Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto

Managing Editor, News
Marcus DiNitto was news managing editor of Gaming Today. In past roles, he has been managing editor at national sports websites SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, and The Linemakers, as well as with licensed sportsbook operator USA Sports Gaming. Marcus graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and studied sports and entertainment marketing at New York University.

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