Ohio’s enormous sports betting figures come despite sportsbooks handing out a slew of pre-launch, launch, and new-user bonuses. In total, these promotions exceeded a value of $320 million, although companies cannot remove these from their tax bill.
FanDuel dominated the Ohio market as it has dominated many states, producing a handle of $494.2 million. DraftKings’ $344 million handle was the second-most of all legal sportsbooks, and BetMGM’s $82.1 million was third.
Ohio’s success makes it one of five states to produce a handle of over $1 billion in a month, along with New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Nevada. It also shattered New York’s first-month revenue record of $123.8 million.
The outpour of Ohio bettors also moves the midwest into a new position of power in the gambling market. Having two billion-dollar-per-month producers (Ohio and Illinois) in the same area shifts power away from the West and Nevada and the tri-state area. Ohio and Illinois both also have tons of local sporting attractions, such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Chicago Cubs, among others.
Of those, the Bengals’ success in January—a month in which they won a regular-season and two playoff games and reached the AFC Championship—surely had a profound impact on betting participation. That combined with exciting promotions around that time, such as Rob Gronkowski’s $10 million kick during the Super Bowl, helped attract fans that would have kept their phones in their pockets in previous years.
Ohio also has a regional advantage moving into the upcoming sports schedule. The MLB regular-season starts on March 30, allowing bettors to cash in on local teams like the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians. The NBA playoffs are also just around the corner, and the Cavaliers have a legitimate chance to reach and even win their first NBA Finals since the 2015-16 season.