Ohioans bet big in first 6 months of sports wagering
Ohio sports betting has declined as an early flood of promotions has given way to a quieter summer without most major sports in action.
- More money has been wagered here so far in 2023 than in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia.
Flashback: Ohio faced a massive undertaking to launch online, retail and lottery kiosk betting at the same time on Jan. 1, says Danny Cross, managing editor of PlayOhio, a website that reports on and advocates for sports betting.
- There were early bumps in the road as operators were fined for illegally promoting "free bets" and marketing to underage players.
State of play: Since then, "things have gone quite well," Cross tells Axios.
- Ohioans wagered over $3.8 billion in the first six months of legal betting, earning sports books $539 million in revenue.
- 10% of that was taxed to benefit K-12 education and problem gambling resources, though lawmakers voted to double that tax rate in the recent state budget.
What he's saying: "Sports books have to be happy with the [betting totals] so far," Cross says.
The intrigue: Bettors vastly prefer placing bets online, with 97% of all money wagered via 18 digital apps.
Zoom in: Fourteen brick-and-mortar sports books inside stadiums and casinos are working to attract gamblers with glitzy lounges and restaurants.
- Hollywood Casino Columbus unveiled its new Barstool Sportsbook in February and has fielded nearly $18 million in bets to date.
Meanwhile, lottery kiosk betting is so nonexistent that Ohio is actually losing money on this front.
- Ohioans have bet just $6.5 million at nearly 1,000 participating bars, restaurants and bowling alleys — netting the state just $141,000 in revenue.
- But these kiosks cost the state lottery commission $650,000 a year in administrative costs, WBNS-TV reports.
What we're watching: How these betting totals look once pro and college football seasons kick off next month.
- We anticipate the first OSU/Michigan game with legal betting is going to blow the gambling receipts off the charts.
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