Ohio’s Legal Sports Betting Market Posts Big League Numbers Opening Weekend

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated January 6, 2023
3 min read
  • Ohio’s First Weekend of Legal Sports Betting Tracked More Action than New York
  • Sports Betting Industry Insiders Predict Ohio Will Generate $8 Billion Handle in 2023
  • Buckeye State Home to Multiple Pro Teams from NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS
Ohio’s Legal Sports Betting Market

The legal U.S. sports betting market welcomed its newest state, Ohio, on New Year’s Day when the Buckeye State launched its sports gambling operation, and after just one weekend they are posting big league numbers according to industry reporter Steve Bittenbender of Casino.org.

The way the sports betting industry tracks its traffic is by the number of geolocation transactions that occur, and according to Casino.org, Ohio’s action included 11.3 transactions through Monday which was 2 million more than New York and 3 million more than Pennsylvania.

GeoComply is the company that tracks those transactions, and in a statement, Senior Vice President Lindsay Slader reportedly said:

“As expected, residents of the Buckeye State enthusiastically greeted the market at the moment the calendar changed over to 2023.”

It’s a positive way to start the new year, the state’s 16 mobile apps now taking legal bets full-time via 783,864 newly opened accounts, according to Casino.org, with Cincinnati leading the state in terms of transactions, a sports town filled with fans of multiple leagues.

Ohio is a large state and experts predict that population will continue to generate a hefty handle.

Sports Betting Industry Insiders Predict Ohio Will Generate $8 Billion Handle in 2023

According to a PlayOhio projection, Ohio sports betting could generate $8.0 billion in bets in 2023, that sizable handle creating a taxable revenue stream that sportsbooks and residents will begin to enjoy as the market grows and the initial freebies and giveaways begin to fade away.

The state of Ohio will tax that revenue at 10%, which is higher than what some of its neighbors like Michigan (8.4%) and Indiana (9.5%) are currently charging sportsbooks, money that’s been earmarked to fund several different initiatives:

  • Ohio's Sports Gaming Revenue Fund
  • Education in the state
  • Youth sports programs

It’s money that prior to the New Year’s market launch in Ohio would be spent elsewhere out of state via unregulated offshore sportsbooks, illegal local bookies, and more recently nearby states where that activity has already been made legal.

Ohio is filled with loyal sports fans looking to add some excitement to their sports entertainment.

Buckeye State Home to Multiple Pro Teams from NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS

No matter where you travel to in Ohio, there are rabid sports fans living there and its no wonder given how many professional leagues have teams based in the Buckeye State, including:

  • Cincinnati Reds, MLB
  • Cleveland Guardians, MLB
  • Columbus Crew, MLS
  • Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA
  • Cincinnati Bengals, NFL
  • Cleveland Browns, NFL          
  • Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL
  • Cleveland Rugby League, NARL

One last point Bittenbender makes in his Casino.org piece is more of a heads-up with regards to a company called Fanatics, which he describes as a leading online sports merchant marketplace that is preparing to make its gaming debut in Ohio sometime in the near future:

“With its consumer database, it could introduce sports betting to new audiences that haven’t had exposure through casino operators or daily fantasy sports providers.”

A promising start for yet another new legal sports betting market in the U.S. as bettors continue to enjoy and fund the country’s second-oldest pastime.

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Mike Lukas

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Favourite Sportsbook: bet365 Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: Caesars Palace Casino
23 years
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