Hard Rock Sportsbook Tops Ohio Retail Sportsbooks In January

Written By Mike Breen on March 3, 2023
Hard Rock Sportsbook Ohio Sports Betting

Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati’s sportsbook was the top-performing retail sportsbook in Ohio for the month of January, the first month of legalized sports betting in the state. 

As a whole, sports betting in Ohio brought in $1.1 billion in bets, exceeding estimates. That figure puts Ohio behind only New York (which reported 1.8 billion in handle) among all states that have reported sports betting revenue numbers for January. 

Among Ohio’s 14 brick-and-mortar retail sportsbooks, the Hard Rock Sportsbook in Cincinnati topped the list by generating $4.4 million in on-site bets and $792,713 in revenue.

Greater Cincinnati accounts for almost half of Ohio sports betting volume

Wade Howk, chief financial officer at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, said he was pleasantly surprised by the overall performance of sports betting in Ohio in its first month of availability. 

“This has far exceeded the expectations of most people and most analysts in the industry,” Howk says. “Absolutely we expected Ohio to be a large market and probably No. 2 or No. 3 (among) the states. We did expect there’d be traffic but $1.1 billion is a pretty big number for us.”

Between retail sportsbooks and online sportsbooks with market-access partners like the Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds and FC Cincinnati in the area, Greater Cincinnati accounted for $526 million in sports betting volume for January, almost half of the statewide total. 

Howk credits the big showing for Cincinnati and Ohio to the passion of sports fans in the region. 

“As a transplant to this area I didn’t realize how much sports meant to this state and specifically to this region,” Howk says. “But with all of the activities and all of the sports teams we have in this state, it certainly is something that resonates with the majority of people that live here.”

Retail sportsbooks account for nearly $23 million in Ohio sports betting handle

The total gross receipts for Ohio’s 14 retail sportsbooks amounted to $22.9 million in January. That number pales next to the 16 online sportsbooks’ nearly $1.1 billion in handle. 

Ohio retail sportsbook revenue for January was $3.2 million. That’s just 1.5% of the January total sports gaming revenue from online and retail sportsbooks in Ohio. January online sportsbook revenue was $205 million.

Ohio retail sportsbook numbers could increase in the coming months as more patrons get familiar with the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Some retail sportsbooks were also slower to open — the dedicated Barstool Sportsbook spaces at Hollywood-branded properties in the state, for example, have only started to open in the past several weeks (though patrons could bet elsewhere on the properties in the meantime).

Including the handle of the Hard Rock Sportsbook Ohio app (which is partnered with Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati), Hard Rock received $25.1 million in sports bets in Ohio during January.

Cleveland BetJACK Sportsbook and Columbus Barstool Sportsbook trail Hard Rock

The betJACK Sportsbook at JACK Cleveland Casino and the Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Columbus each topped $3 million in sports betting handle for January, coming in just behind Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati’s sportsbook. Those books brought in $270,483 and $485,860 in revenue, respectively. The BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Northfield Park saw $2,082,445 in handle and $421,627 in revenue. 

Hard Rock Sportsbook also topped all Ohio retail sportsbooks in revenue, with $792,713 reported. BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park and SuperBook at Taft’s Ale House (both also in Cincinnati) were the only retail sportsbooks in Ohio to report negative revenue numbers.

Retail SportsbookHandle Revenue
Hard Rock Sportsbook at Hard Rock Cincinnati
BetJACK Sportsbook at JACK Cleveland Casino$3,500,842
Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Columbus$3,151,796
BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Northfield Park
Caesars Sportsbook at Scioto Downs
BetJACK Sportsbook at JACK Thistledown Racino$1,630,858$112,353
Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Toledo
Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Gaming Dayton
Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley
FanDuel Sportsbook at Belterra Park
Caesars Sportsbook at Rocket Mortage FieldHouse
The Race & Sportsbook at Miami Valley Gaming
BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park
SuperBook Sportsbook at Taft's Ale House$6,274.$(223)

Sportsbooks’ success continues with new sports seasons

Sports betting came to Ohio at the end of the NFL season and just before the Super Bowl, which certainly played into Ohio sports fans’ interest in sportsbooks. 

Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati’s Howk says the casino’s sportsbook has shown no sign of slowing down post-NFL season, with college basketball drawing just as much interest. 

“What that tells us is that this thing has legs, it wasn’t just about the NFL,” Howk says. “There’s a lot more opportunity for the betting to continue. I think we should see continued success with this in the state.”

Howk says that, based on the response from patrons so far, he expects Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati’s retail sportsbook to continue to put up good numbers.

“I do think we’re providing the best product that is out there right now,” Howk says. “It’s fun. It’s excitement. It adds activity and excitement to the floor. It’s really a positive for us.”

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Mike Breen

Mike Breen covers Ohio’s budding sports betting industry for PlayOhio, focusing on online sportsbooks and the state’s responsible gambling initiatives. He has over two decades of experience covering sports, news, music, arts and culture in Ohio.

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