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Ohio online sports betting nets higher revenue despite handle decline

| By Richard Mulligan
Ohio saw sports betting handle fall but revenue soar during a mixed start to the new year in the Buckeye State.

Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) data showed revenue of $113.1m for the state’s operators during the month to 31 January 2024. While this was down 46% compared to the same month in 2023, it was up 30% on the previous month, December 2023.

With Ohio’s sports betting market launching in January 2023, this is the first month to enable year-on-year comparisons. That first month of operations saw $210.5m generated by the state’s sportsbooks. However, revenue was as low as $87.3m in December 2023.

Almost all the revenue came from online and mobile, totalling $110.6m, with just $2.5m from retail.

FanDuel, based at Belterra Park, accounted for more than half of revenue as it generated $53.0m. DraftKings, based out of Hollywood Toledo, was the only other operator to contribute more than $10m. It brought in $34.0m in January.

Handle drops following player props ruling

Handle was down considerably compared to last January. Bettors wagered $810.4m in January 2024, which was down 26% compared to $1.1bn in the prior period. Handle was also down by 2.3% compared to December 2023. January was the first month since a ban was announced on player props involving college student-athletes. The OCCC said college player props accounted for 1.5% of the money bet on sports last year.

Ohio’s operators paid out $691.8m in winnings in January, with $40.0m written off as promotions. Some $792.1m of handle came from online with $18.4m from retail.

When broken down by operator, FanDuel was the top sportsbook in the state during January at $282.7m in handle. DraftKings amassed $254.2m, with ESPN BET on $59.8m and Bet365 on $50.0m.

Ohio’s dip in handle but growth in revenue shadows the results posted by Washington DC earlier this week. However, New Jersey posted record revenue and handle during January.

Ohio casinos continue decline

Meanwhile, Ohio’s four casinos reported $75.2m in gross gaming revenue for the month. This number represents a 12.6% year-over-year decline and an 18% month-over-month decline.

Ohio casinos reported their lowest monthly revenue total in nearly three years. The $67.6m in February 2021 was the only monthly report with worse results.

Ohio is home to seven racinos that offer video lottery terminals (VLTs) and four casinos that offer slot machines and live dealer table games. The $100.8m won by video lottery terminals (VLT) represented a 9% decline from January 2023, when the properties won $110.8m.

Jack Cleveland Casino had the highest revenue of all Ohio casinos, with $21.2m. This came despite reporting only $11.5m in slot machine revenue, the lowest in the state.

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