Ohio sports betting handle rebounds to $738M in third month of legal wagering

Ohio’s sports betting handle rebounded and saw an increase of 15.4% in March, which led to an overall handle of $738 million, according to data released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The most significant jump came from kiosks, with 42.2%. 

As reported by the Commission, the number of kiosks grew from 866 in February to 940 in March, while retail sportsbook wagers grew by more than $4 million. Furthermore, mobile betting was up by more than 15%.

The 15.4% increase comes following February’s 60% drop from January, when legal sports betting began in the state. In February, the state’s overall handle slipped to nearly $640 million from $1.1 billion in January, the second-highest total in the nation that month. 

Gaming analysts from BetOhio expected a resurgence in March. “While many U.S. markets saw month-to-month increases across the board as well, Ohio’s sportsbooks experienced elevated gains due to the volatility of a new market,” said Dru James, BetOhio analyst. “Typically, February-to-March increases for markets of a similar size were between 10-12%. By this time next year, Ohio will likely have stabilized, and there will be slightly smaller changes in the first quarter,” James added.

“As predicted, March was a month of recovery after Ohio sports betting took a sharp hit in February,” James added. “Though numbers fell at the end of the NFL season, March Madness and the NBA brought more betting opportunities to Ohioans, resulting in a 15% increase in overall handle with a figure of $738 million. Additionally, the installation of 74 more betting kiosks caused a 42% increase in handle from Type C proprietors alone.”

However, while sports betting keeps expanding in the state, lottery numbers remain high. According to data from the Ohio Lottery, the traditional lottery remains undeterred. Since July, lottery sales have been around $3.4 billion.

“We are on pace to set another record this year for transfers to the Lottery Profits Education Fund,” said Ohio Lottery communications director Danielle Frizzi-Babb. While it’s unclear if sports betting played a role, Frizzi-Babb however told 3News that there’s been a small impact on KENO in March and April.