The Cincinnati Bengals fell short of a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but the budding Ohio sports betting market is primed to enjoy an early boost thanks to the Mecca of all sports betting events.
Only six weeks into legal sports betting, Ohio is set to rank among the biggest Super Bowl betting states in the country, according to new projections from PlayOhio.
Based on historical Super Bowl betting data, Ohio could take in $82.6 million in Super Bowl betting. That figure would rank fifth-highest in the U.S. based on projections.
The projection includes all bets placed on the Super Bowl itself and the prop/in-play markets.
“The Bengals’ loss in the AFC Championship game certainly tamps down our expectations a bit,” said Eric Ramsey, market analyst for Catena Media. “But we still expect to see Ohio sneak into the top five states for sports betting handle — barely a month removed from launch.”
Ohio sports betting market to rank fifth in Super Bowl betting
Ohio is one of three newly legalized sports betting markets that did not have sports betting for Super Bowl LVI in 2022.
- Massachusetts (retail only launching Tuesday)
Ohio’s projected $82.6 million handle would far outpace these markets. Kansas had a head start, launching sports betting on Sept. 1. Massachusetts is set to go live on Jan. 31, just in time for Super Bowl betting. In addition, Maryland launched online sports betting in November on the day before Thanksgiving. That state had retail sports betting for last year’s Super Bowl.
Still, the bigger prize for Ohio is pushing the likes of Pennsylvania, Illinois and New Jersey. Ohio is projected to top neighboring Pennsylvania in Super Bowl betting this year, and it trails New Jersey by less than $5 million in the projections.
Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have had legal online sports betting for over four years.
What would a Bengals Super Bowl appearance have meant for the projections?
The Super Bowl is such a massive betting draw that having a local team participate has only a marginal effect on a state’s total betting handle.
Pennsylvania, for instance, is unlikely to see a substantive increase in Super Bowl betting handle due to the Eagles’ upcoming appearance, because sports betting has been legal there since late 2018.
New Super Bowl bettors are likely to be casual bettors generally wagering relatively small amounts of money.
Most Ohio Super Bowl bettors will have been active on Ohio sportsbooks before the Super Bowl, whether the Cincinnati Bengals participated or not. Still, if the Bengals were playing in Super Bowl LVII, it would have led to small gains that could have added up.
Unfortunately for Ohioans, the Bengals fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
Casual Ohio bettors will find major Super Bowl promos
For most sports betting markets, the Super Bowl is an annual bonanza of promotional offers and bonuses — means for sportsbooks to engage with casual fans who might sign up for the big game and place a small bet.
That will certainly be the case in Ohio, where over a dozen online sportsbooks are competing for an early slice of the market.
Because the Ohio market is so new, bettors enticed by sportsbook Super Bowl promos will find plenty of other deals to aid sportsbooks’ initial entry into the market.