Bet365 enjoys record sports betting month in Ohio

Image: Shutterstock

Ohio took more than $800 million in sports betting handle in March, representing a second consecutive month of year-over-growth. Bet365 consolidated its status as the state’s third-biggest sportsbook by taking a record monthly handle in the state.

However, Ohio sports wagering revenue was down year-over-year.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission‘s March revenue report showed that sportsbooks in the Buckeye State handled $808.2 million in bets in March 2024, a 20.4% increase over February.

March’s handle was 9.6% higher than the same month last year, after February also saw a year-over-year rise. Around 97% percent of March’s $784.8 million handle, $784.8 million was taken through online wagering.

However, with sports betting hold sitting at around 8%, adjusted gross revenue fell to $63.8 million. That represents a drop of 3.8% from February and a year-over-year decline of 32.8% from March 2023, when Ohio sportsbooks took $95 million in the state’s second month of legal sports wagering.

The state took $12.8 million in taxes in March and collected nearly $50 million in taxes in the first quarter of 2024. Ohio’s sports betting tax rate doubled from 10% to 20% last July, so comparing year-over-year is tricky. Overall, nearly 70% of Ohio’s all-time sports betting tax revenue has come since that rate change.

Online sportsbooks paid out $717 million in winnings, by some measure the highest payout of the first three months of the year.

Q1 2024 was the first quarter for which there was a past iteration available given that sports betting first became legal in Ohio in January 2023. Still, it makes for a difficult comparison given that the first weeks of a new market tend to be saturated with sign-up offers and other promotional dollars.

Bet365 best of the rest

Behind perpetual Ohio market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings, bet365 had the best month of all Buckeye State online sportsbooks.

The UK company, which is partnered with current MLB American League Central leaders the Cleveland Guardians, had $57.3 million in online sports betting handle in March. That is the sportsbook’s all-time high mark in the state, fractionally above the $54.5 million it took in March 2023. Back then, though, bet365’s promotional spend was nearly 10 times what it is now, at $16.9 million in credits and bonuses awarded last March versus $1.8 million this March.

bet365’s revenue in Ohio for March 2024 was $4.6 million, which also ranked third in Ohio.

Close behind bet365 in terms of online betting handle for the month was BetMGM, at $53.9 million. However, the MGM Northfield Park operator’s revenue of $3.2 million was fifth, also behind ESPN Bet, which took $3.3 million in revenue from a $44.3 million handle.

ESPN Bet, which has slipped from its third-place position two months ago, rounded out the top five sportsbooks in Ohio in terms of handle. Below that quintet came a group led by Caesars ($35.9 million) and Fanatics ($23.2 million). Fanatics ranked above Caesars in revenue, with $1.4 million against Caesars’ $1.3 million.

Caesars continues to be the clear leader in retail sports betting through its partnership with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, taking nearly double the handle of its biggest retail competitor, ESPN Bet’s Hollywood Columbus.