Ohio sports betting so far smashing projections
Ohio bettors were expected to wager $8 billion during the first year of legalized sports betting, and with only three months of spending data, it looks like that eye-popping projection was a lowball.
- And that's with the Buckeyes football season still months away.
Why it matters: Our sports-obsessed state is already a betting powerhouse, with the resulting millions in tax dollars flowing toward education causes.
- Sportsbooks have recorded $387.5 million in net revenue so far — the state taxes 10% to fund K-12 education and problem gambling resources.
The latest: Gov. Mike DeWine proposes to double that tax rate, but Ohio House members have thus far rejected the idea.
The big picture: It's been five years since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling launched the nationwide sports betting industry that has become all but inescapable to fans, Jeff Tracy writes for Axios Sports.
- Ohio is already the No. 14 state for total wagers handled, ahead of states like Connecticut and West Virginia that legalized betting well before we did.
Zoom in: Nearly all of Ohio's action (97%) has occurred on digital betting apps like DraftKings and FanDuel.
- Most other bets were placed at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks within casinos, racinos and arenas.
- Just $3.2 million (0.1%) was bet at the growing number of kiosks inside restaurants, bars and bowling alleys.
- Columbus and the suburbs have around 100 such kiosks, which feature a limited range of bets compared to online apps.
Meanwhile, Ohio regulators have stayed busy these first few months, fining DraftKings and Barstool a combined $750,000 in February for marketing to underage players and improperly promoting "free bets."
- Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was recently fired after evidence showed he was on the phone with an Ohio bettor who placed a "suspicious" wager before a Crimson Tide game.
What they're saying: The state gambling helpline has seen a spike in callers since sports betting launched in January, Problem Gambling Network of Ohio executive director Derek Longmeier tells Axios.
- But not all of these new callers are sports bettors — a testament, he says, to the efficacy of a state law requiring sportsbooks to promote addiction resources in their marketing campaigns.
Worthy of your time: Our guide on responsible betting
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