Ohio sports betting launch was unsurprisingly huge, generating $1.13 billion in handle during the first month of operation per numbers from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Revenue was even more impressive, with $208.9 million in gross gaming revenue, representing a hold percentage of 18.9%. By comparison, New York just set a GGR revenue record of $149.4 million in the same month. The Cincinnati Bengals’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship can likely explain a good chunk of that hold percentage.
Promo credit spend correlated with Ohio market share by handle
Even though promotional credit deductions are not allowed for the first four years of operation, operators were keen to spend to win market share. The 16 online operators doled out a total of nearly $320 million in promotional credit, more than wiping out any money the sportsbooks made in the state.
Over half of that promo credit came from FanDuel, which spent nearly $169 million on promotional credit. The next-biggest spender, DraftKings, offered almost $87 million in promotional credit. BetMGM rounded out the top three in promotional spend with $27.3 million in credit.
In terms of early market share, promotional credit spend and market share were generally correlated for the top five operators. The lone exception is Barstool, which outpaced bet365 despite bet365 spending twice as much on promo credit. Here is a look at the breakdown of operator, market share of handle, and promotional spend:
- FanDuel / 45.3% / $168.7 million
- DraftKings / 31.5% / $86.68 million
- BetMGM / 7.5% / $27.33 million
- Barstool / 4.2% / $5.48 million
- bet365 / 3.54% / $11.92 million
Caesars, which is generally in the top five of market share for states it operates in, grabbed 2% of the market but also seriously curbed promotional spend, offering just $3.7 million in promotional credit, less than both Hard Rock Sportsbook and Tipico.
Comparatively, bet365 went heavy on promotions in the state and managed to crack the top five operators in handle, albeit this is only a one-month sample.
Retail sports betting contributed another $23 million to handle and, as previously reported, the first batch of sports betting kiosks in Ohio posted $850,000 in handle.
Betr takes $1M in bets but only with two weeks of real-money gaming
Many eyes were on the Jake Paul-backed betr app as it launched in its first state. The sportsbook accepted just shy of $1.1 million in wagers. This number amounts to a mere 0.1% of the total market but is not the most accurate representation of the app’s popularity. For the first couple of weeks of January, betr was not allowing users to fund their accounts. That functionality only went live on Jan. 13.
The middle tier of operators by handle consisted of Caesars ($31.5 million), Hard Rock ($ 20.7 million), and Tipico $10.7 million).
BetRivers, Betfred, and Superbook, meanwhile, struggled to gain much traction in the state. None of the operators generated more than $4 million in handle. For local brands, BetJACK outperformed MVGBet with $4.2 million in handle compared to just $203K for MVGBet.
Cincinnati hosts most popular Ohio retail sportsbook
On the retail front, Hard Rock Cincinnati was the most active of the books with $4.4 million in handle. JACK Cleveland posted $3.5 million and Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino brought in $3.2 million. The Hollywood properties took a total of around $7.2 million across four properties while JACK collected $5.1 million across two properties.
Ohio trailed New York in January handle but did outpace the state when it came to GGR. Some like Illinois, have yet to report on January revenue. Ohio already outpaced perennial top performers, Nevada and New Jersey. Either way, Ohio’s grand entrance makes it clear it will be a major market in the US going forward.