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The Buckeye State announced that November was the second-largest sports betting handle since the industry’s January 2023 launch. The month saw bettors wager $864 million, the highest they have seen since their opening month. Football betting was the primary reason for the impressive month, but the start of college and pro basketball were also factors.
While the handle total is impressive, gross revenue did fall by 15% in November. That was due to more bettors winning their wagers, resulting in a record-low 7.9% hold for operators. That means less money for the operators and the state despite seeing the most wagers since the industry’s launch.
Around 98% of sports bets were placed online. FanDuel led the way with a November handle of 293.2 million, with DraftKings finishing close behind at $275.8 million. This has been the theme across the country, with most bettors opting to wager online with one of the two DFS giants.
The JACK Casino in Cleveland had the largest handle of any retail sportsbook in the state, seeing $3.58 million wagered in November. While many saw an increase in handly, four retail locations reported that they paid more out in winnings than they collected.
While FanDuel and DraftKings dominating the market is nothing new, ESPN BET made waves by finishing third with a handle of $70.8 million in their first full month in the Buckeye State. That puts them ahead of Caesars ($38.4 million) and BetMGM ($50.1 million), the next two largest operators in the country.
Some of ESPN’s success can be attributed to its welcome bonus for new users, but its brand is clearly boosting its popularity. The sports media giant has done a great job promoting their new sportsbook across all platforms, which has paid off in a big way in Ohio.
ESPN BET took over the Barstool Sportsbook for PENN Gaming, giving them immediate access to states like Ohio. The strong start is a promising sign, but seeing where ESPN will fit among the top sports betting operators will take time.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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