By TheNuts - Mar 02, 2023
Legal Sports Betting Opens in Ohio
The first month of legal sports betting in Ohio has produced positive results. Operators pulled in $1.11 billion in handle in January, coming in second only to New York ($1.7 billion), according to data published by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC).
In the Buckeye State, there are 16 online and 14 retail sportsbooks, and the online sites are by far the more popular. $1.09 billion of the $1.11 billion in handle was received online. In places where both are legal, online betting often outperforms retail betting, but Ohio had the highest online betting share at 98%. Pennsylvania came the closest, with little over 93%.
Betting companies made $208.9 million in income from the total handle, which is effectively gross profit (total bets accepted minus winnings paid). Yet, because operators distributed $320 million in promotional credits, net profit was negative. The operators had to pay 10% tax on the $208.9 million since the law does not permit the latter sum to be subtracted from taxable revenue.
The proprietors of the Ohio sportsbooks paid $320 in incentives and promotional credits, as was previously reported, therefore overall they lost money. Only two online operators, Caesars ($413,450) and Betr ($11,160), were profitable. Because to all the promotional funds it distributed, the betting handle leaders suffered significant financial losses. While DraftKings lost $31.6 million in January, FanDuel lost $65.4 million.
Gambling advertising has gained popularity in Ohio, as it has in other states, especially as business owners learn how to comply with restrictions. DraftKings was issued a notice of violation by the OCCC in the first week that sports betting was permitted in the state for allegedly distributing advertisements to around 2,500 minors. On a college campus, Barstool Sports promoted gambling.
The OCCC issued a general warning to operators, stating that any advertisements they and their affiliate marketers run must "clearly and conspicuously contain a message designed to prevent problem gambling as well as a helpline number to help access resources," and cannot contain any language that encourages "risk-free" or "free" bets.
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