Ohio Ranks 6th In The Nation For 2023 Gaming Revenue

Written By TJ McBride on March 13, 2024

Last year now officially marks the most profitable year in commercial gaming history for the United States. In 2023, $66.5 billion of revenue was generated from gambling — a whole 10% better than in 2022. This is now the third consecutive year that the commercial gaming revenue record has been broken.

Ohio, which had the sixth-most gaming revenue of any state in the country, played a big part in breaking that record. The Buckeye State managed to rack up over $3.3 billion in revenue in 2023.

Even more impressive is that the Buckeye State was knocking on the door to the top five, despite not having an Ohio online casino industry.

Ohio accumulated over $3.3 billion gaming revenue in 2023

Commercial gaming revenue is made up of three different industries: retail casinos, sports betting and iGaming. While Ohio lacks an online casino market, it features four retail casinos and 19 online sportsbooks.

When sports betting and commercial casino revenues were added together, Ohio came away with $3.3 billion in revenue — a year-over-year growth of a whopping 42.3%.

According to the American Gaming Association, only five states logged higher annual gaming revenues. Michigan beat Ohio out for the No. 5 spot by a slim $300 million:

  1. Nevada: $15.5 billion
  2. Pennsylvania: $5.9 billion
  3. New Jersey: $5.8 billion
  4. New York: $4.7 billion
  5. Michigan: $3.6 billion
  6. Ohio: $3.3 billion

One of the big reasons for the state getting so close to the top five in statewide gaming revenue was its new Ohio sports betting market. Despite just one year of operation, Ohio has the fourth-biggest sports betting market in the country and generated $936.6 million in revenue. The only states ahead of Ohio were New York, New Jersey and Illinois, which each eclipsed $1 billion in sports betting revenue.

David Forman, the Vice President of Research at the AGA, told NPR News that Ohio’s sports betting success has been a welcomed sight:

“I think maybe the big surprise last year was Ohio and sports betting. Last year was the first year with legal sports betting in Ohio, and Ohio immediately became the fourth-largest sports betting market in the country in just its first year of operations. So people in Ohio legally bet more than $7.6 billion on sports last year in just the first year of operations there, only behind New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

Cleveland ranks No. 18 in US for commercial casino revenue

Ohio casinos generated just under $2.4 billion in 2023 — about 2% better than 2022 casino revenue figures. All four commercial casinos in Ohio are competitive, but Jack Cleveland Casino tends to lead the pack.

Not surprisingly Cleveland, OH ranked as the 18th-best commercial casino market in 2023, below downtown Las Vegas. Cleveland’s annual revenue increased by 5% compared to 2022, amounting to an overall gaming revenue of $768 million.

Jack Cleveland came out on top once again this January with $21.2 million in revenue. Ohio’s other three casinos – Hollywood Columbus, Hard Rock Cincinnati and Hollywood Toledo – collected between $16.5 million and $19.7 million in revenue to kick off 2024.

Ohio’s two gaming markets each generate nearly $1 billion annually. With such massive gaming success, some lawmakers are beginning to wonder how much more revenue could be created with the addition of online casinos.

Could online casinos push Ohio even higher up the list?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Lawmakers in Ohio are not expected to put forth legislation to legalize online casinos this year. Right now, Ohio lawmakers have begun holding hearings with multiple interested parties to begin laying the groundwork for a future online casino bill.

Ohio state Rep. Jay Edwards told PlayUSA as much earlier this year.

“What we’re trying to do is start the conversation, get best practices, educate members and allow regulators some input on the process so that when we are ready, we can start to implement that.”

Multiple written testimonies have been submitted to lawmakers advocating for the legalization of online casinos in the Buckeye State. One such testimony was submitted by iDEA Growth, which is a lobbying firm dedicated to online gaming.

“We urge the Study Commission to consider the robust evidence supporting iGaming’s economic benefits, its complementary relationship with land-based casinos, and the importance of regulating this sector to combat offshore gaming and ensure consumer protection.”

The Sports Betting Alliance – which includes BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics and FanDuel – has also submitted its own written testimony which included a projection of $621 million in annual revenue without cannibalizing retail casinos. Boyd Gaming’s own findings agreed with this sentiment.

“We believe that (online casinos are) highly complementary to our existing land-based operations, and an opportunity to engage our customers while they are not physically at our properties. We have seen benefits with customer acquisition, retention and marketing from our Stardust iGaming platform in Pennsylvania, where we also operate our Valley Forge Casino near Philadelphia.”

While it is unlikely a bill will be proposed prior to 2025, an Ohio online casino industry could be just the push the state needs to catapult itself into position as one of the top five states for gaming revenue.

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TJ McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter who covers sports betting for PlayOhio. His work has been featured on ESPN, CBS Sports, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and Yahoo Sports, among others.

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