Ohio sports betting handle down by 40% in second month of legal wagering

Ohio sportsbooks brought in more than $82 million in February from the $638 million in wagers placed across the state, according to data released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. During the second month of legalized sports gambling, sportsbooks paid out $552 million in winnings to bettors.

The vast majority of wagers were made through mobile sports betting apps, as was the case in January. Ohio’s retail betting locations, like casinos or sportsbooks inside stadiums and ballparks, account for just $17 million of the $638 million wagered in February, according to the numbers from the Commission.

Overall, February’s betting numbers are down in comparison to January, when Ohioans wagered more than $1.1 billion on sports betting. The bets resulted in $208.9 million in revenue for sportsbooks across the Buckeye State that month, and overall, Ohioans scored more than $883.6 million in winnings.

All in all, revenue was down more than 60% and handle fell by 40% for the second month of legal sports gaming. While the decrease is a major one, it is worth noting February faced tough comparisons: Ohio had in January the second-highest handle in the nation for the month.

A drop after a strong first month is not atypical for any market, and it is also common for all markets, no matter the age, to lose momentum from January to February,” BetOhio analyst Dru James said, as reported by The Center Square. “This combination is likely what led to such a large drop in Ohio this past month.”

While betting handle fell both for mobile and retail, it did climb 14.5% at kiosks, with the number of kiosks also increasing from 772 in January to 866 in February. “These additions were not enough to cushion the overall decline for the month, but their presence in the market will be something to keep an eye on in the future,” James added.

Earlier this year, state budget officials estimated a $3.35 billion sports betting market, bringing in $24 million in taxes by mid-2024. PlayOhio projected an even larger number: $8 billion in bets in 2023.