Feb 10, 2023 - Business

Ohio looks to cash in on Super Bowl betting

Illustration of a poker chip shaped like a football

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Expect many Ohio sports fans to obsess about spreads during the Super Bowl, and we're not talking about the trays of food in front of them.

What's happening: Ohio is expected to take in nearly $83 million in Super Bowl bets, fifth-highest among the 33 states where sports betting is legal, according to PlayOhio.

  • Ohio ranks behind Nevada, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, and just ahead of Pennsylvania.

Why it matters: Major Ohio cities are banking on the potential tax revenue from sports betting.

  • Cleveland City Council estimates legalized sports wagering could generate $65 million in annual revenue to be put toward improving the city's infrastructure.

Catch up fast: Sports betting became legal in Ohio on Jan. 1, with 16 sportsbooks now live in the state.

By the numbers: In January, more than 160 million instances of someone logging on to an online sportsbook in Ohio were identified by GeoComply, which tracks the location where an app is opened.

  • More than 31 million such instances were in Cleveland, second only to Cincinnati's 38 million.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is expected to release the first official sports-betting revenue figures at the end of February.

Zoom out: More than 50 million U.S. adults are expected to wager $16 billion on Super Bowl LVII, per the American Gaming Association. Both figures are roughly double last year's record tally.

What they're saying: Eric Ramsey, market analyst for Catena Media, which owns PlayOhio, tells Axios that the amount of money being wagered in Ohio has been impressive.

  • "To be right there with Pennsylvania, which launched in 2018, and Illinois, which launched in 2019, is amazing," Ramsey says, "especially less than 45 days in."

The bottom line: The Super Bowl is just the beginning for Ohio sports-betting activity, which could generate nearly $9 billion in bets in 2023.


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