Ohio Continues Slide In Betting Activity, Revenue In June

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Ohio’s sportsbooks continued an expected decline in activity and revenue in June, from a combination of a reduced sports calendar and shrinking promotional offers from operators.

The monthly report from the Ohio Casino Control Commission for 18 online sportsbooks and 14 retail venues showed $362.1 million in total statewide handle in June and $32.6 million in combined revenue. Those are both the lowest monthly figures since legal sports betting began in the state Jan. 1, with the handle down 18.9% from May’s $446.2 million and revenue off 43.7% from May’s $57.8 million.

Such slowdowns in June are common among states with legalized sports betting, but Ohio also has some specific characteristics due to its newness. The level of promotional credits from the online sportsbooks to draw bettors fell to $14.9 million, far less than in any prior month.

When Ohio drew national attention with gaudy first-month figures of $1.11 billion in handle and $209.6 million in revenue in January, the combined promotional offers amounted to nearly $320 million in giveaways. The June numbers demonstrate once more that Ohio seems likely to join neighboring Pennsylvania (which had $373.2 million in June handle) among a second tier of most active sports betting states, below the leaders New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Nevada.

Still, the Buckeye State  performed impressively in the first six months of betting to reach a combined $3.82 billion in handle and $539.4 million in revenue. At the 10% tax rate that ended on June 30, the state received about $54 million as its share of proceeds.

The rate doubled to 20% starting July 1 as a result of action by the legislature and Gov. Mike DeWine.

The June figures released by the casino commission do not include the much smaller activity that took place on sports betting kiosks in bars and other locations. The Ohio Lottery previously reported that total betting amounted to $954,804, generating revenue of $38,811 at 939 such small-business sites authorized to host wagering in June.

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DraftKings closing the gap

Online betting represented 96% of the volume at sportsbooks in June, and nearly all operators showed significant drop-off in handle from the month before.

Most notably, however, DraftKings came closer than ever to matching FanDuel as the busiest operator in the state.

FanDuel’s handle between May and June declined 24.1% to $120.3 million, while DraftKings was off only 14.3% to $117.5 million. That enabled DraftKings to close the gap between them from $21.5 million to less than $3 million.

Still, as has been customary in many states, FanDuel held a far bigger advantage in revenue, earning $14 million with $4.3 million in promotional credits disbursed to customers, compared to DraftKings’ $9.3 million in revenue and $3.4 million in credits.

Once more in June, the global brand bet365 made Ohio a special focus that enabled it to achieve third-place handle status, with $26.5 million in bets. It saw revenue of $2.65 million that was nearly matched by $2.48 million in credits.

Similarly, fourth-place BetMGM gave away $2.23 million in credits to net $2.27 million in revenue on $25.8 million in handle.

Caesars Sportsbook had $20.4 million in handle and $1.2 million in revenue, with Barstool Sportsbook behind it with $14.5 million in handle and $774,571 in revenue.

The new Fanatics Sportsbook was the one online operator showing more activity than the month before, as it gradually ramps up in its invitation-only, beta-testing mode in advance of football season. Its $2.2 million in handle was more than twice as much as in May, and its revenue of $402,222 was nearly double.

One of the smallest operators in the state, SuperBook, showed a net loss of $25,999 in betting by customers, and that was the second straight month it did so.

Overall, the sportsbooks’ hold rate of 9% — while strong by ordinary standards in what is deemed a low profit-margin sector of the gaming industry – was the lowest in the six months of legal betting in Ohio. The sportsbooks’ win rate over bettors exceeded 12% in all prior months.

Bettors win big at MGM Northfield Park

The 14 sportsbooks located at casinos, racinos, and sports venues combined for $565,820 in revenue from $13.7 million in bets, with MGM Northfield Park taking special status.

The racetrack casino in suburban Cleveland saw its betting handle climb from $2.1 million in May to $4.7 million in June — nearly $3 million more than any other retail location — yet it took a loss to customers, with negative revenue of $30,078.

It was not the only in-person sportsbook loser, however, with deficits also reported by the Caesars Sportsbook of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (-$42,325), Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati (-$26,398), and Hollywood Casino Columbus ($24,407).

 

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