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Ohio betting revenue drops 3.8% in first month since college prop bet ban

| By Kyle Goldsmith
Ohio reported total sports betting revenue of $63.8m (£51.0m/€59.6m) in March, down 3.8% on February’s total of $66.3m.

The sports betting revenue total of $63.8m in March also fell 33.1% short of the same month last year, when Ohio reported revenues of $95.3m. March 2023 was the third month after Ohio launched its sports betting market.

Ohio’s revenue drop was in spite of handle reaching $808.2m in March, significantly up from the $671.1m in bets taken in February. The NCAA Division 1 basketball tournaments are big drivers of handle in the US during the month.

The state’s March handle was also a 9.6% increase on the $737.2m in bets taken in the same month last year.

Taxable revenue stood at $64m, after $738.8m was paid out in winnings and $22.5m was written off in promotions.

Of the $808.2m in handle, online accounted for $784.8m, or 97.1% of the total. Online sports betting revenue was $62.1m, compared to $1.7m in retail.

FanDuel retains lead over DraftKings in Ohio

In terms of individual online operators, FanDuel reported handle of $265.9m compared to DraftKings’ $260.6m.

FanDuel also led the way for revenue with $27.0m, with DraftKings lagging behind at $20.3m.

Behind FanDuel and DraftKings, Bet365 reported a strong month. Its handle for March stood at $57.3m. This was an increase of 28.5% compared to the $44.6m in bets it took over February, and potentially supports data shared by YouGov earlier this week that revealed that Bet365 is the most popular platform among those aged 21-24.

First month since Ohio banned player prop bets

March was the first month since the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) banned player prop bets on college sports. The ban came into force on 1 March.

This follows a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) request for college sports props to be prohibited. The ban aims to protect athletes from potential harassment, as well as halt match fixing.

The OCCC said it is the 25th state to either limit or outright ban player prop bets. These include statistics such as a quarterback’s passing yards.

After the ban was announced, Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, stated: “The Ohio Casino Control Commission took quick action to protect student athletes from unnecessary and potentially harmful threats.

“Amending rules to focus bets on the team and away from individual athletes will improve the marketplace in Ohio and properly focus betting attention on the teams and away from individual student athletes.”

Casino resurgence continues

A decline in Ohio casino revenue halted in February, when the market rebounded from reporting its lowest monthly revenue total in nearly three years in January.

Ohio casinos performed well again in March, reporting monthly revenues of $94.7m. The total topped the $83.5m accumulated in February. It was also 1.3% higher than the same month last year, when Ohio casinos reported revenue of $93.5m.

Hollywood Columbus took the lead in terms of revenue with $25.6m. Jack Cleveland’s followed on $24.5m, ahead of Hard Rock Cincinnati and Hollywood Toledo Casino, which reported revenues of $22.2m and $22.5m respectively.

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