Paltry Promo Spend By Ohio Sportsbooks In June Exacerbates Summer Slowdown

Written By Hill Kerby on July 31, 2023
Ohio Sports Betting June Revenue

Ohio bettors had their best month on record in June, while sportsbooks had their worst.

Sportsbooks in the Buckeye State saw all-time lows in handle, hold and revenue. Ohio sports betting handle came in at $362 million in June, a 19% decline from May. 

Declines heading into summer are nothing new for U.S. sportsbooks, but Ohio books in June continued to pull back on promotional spending (which pads their handle figures) and also posted their lowest hold of the year at 9.0%.

All told, Ohio sportsbooks produced $32 million in revenue — an astounding 44% drop from May’s $57.8 million, the previous low for the state.

Ohio handle, revenue numbers on a steady decline

June marked the third consecutive month with Ohio sportsbooks reporting month-over-month drops in handle and revenue.

Since March, sports betting volume has fallen by over 50% and revenue by 66%.


Promo spending magnifies downward trend

Mid-year drops in sports betting action are common in the U.S. sports betting industry, as the calendar offers mostly baseball after the conclusion of the NHL and NBA playoffs.

However, Ohio sportsbooks have reduced their promo spending every month since launching in January, creating even less action during the down months.

Ohio Sports Betting Promo Spending

Bettors receiving less promotional money translates to more out-of-pocket wagers, and they made the most of it with their 9% hold. The single-digit hold percentage was the first in Ohio sports betting history, though it was still slightly over the 8% industry average.

Five Ohio sportsbooks exceed $20 million handle

The market is taking shape after six months of Ohio sports betting, with Bet365 Sportsbook’s aggressive promotional spending strategy helping it edge out BetMGM Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook for third in market share for the second straight month.

None of the three came close to FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook, which maintained their combined market share of 68.2% from May’s 68.6%.

Below the top five, only two operators recorded more than $5 million handles. None generated more than $1 million in revenue for the month.

SportsbookJune HandleMarket ShareJune Revenue
Hard Rock$6,024,8321.73%$282,911

Ohio a top-five market at the midway point

A successful Jan. 1 Ohio sports betting launch — fueled by pent-up demand and aggressive promotional spending in an attractive market — put it on pace to become a top-three market in the nation.

Promotional spending has since dropped, and inflated numbers have been replaced by a more accurate representation of what the market looks like. 

And despite handle falling from the first three month’s highs, the numbers aren’t all that bad. Halfway through 2023, Ohio sits fifth in the nation with $3.82 billion in handle, sandwiched between the mature Nevada and Pennsylvania markets.

That said, Ohio’s numbers are inflated from its launch. Pennsylvania has outperformed Ohio each of the last three months and will create a close race by the end of the year if both states remain on the same pace.

YTD sports betting volume:

  • New York: $9.15 billion
  • Illinois: $3.92 billion (through April)
  • New Jersey: $5.16 billion
  • Nevada: $4.01 billion
  • Ohio: $3.82 billion
  • Pennsylvania: $3.5 billion

Furthermore, its first six months have been such a success that legislators have doubled the state taxes on Ohio sports betting revenue. The tax hike went into effect on July 1, though the situation continues to develop.

Halfway through the year, retail and online sportsbooks have combined for more than $539 million in taxable revenue.

MonthOnlineRetailTotal Taxable Revenue
February$80,114,817 $940,380 $81,055,197
March$92,002,730 $2,852,580 $94,855,310
April$61,834,221 $1,496,659 $63,330,880
May$55,949,214 $1,932,383 $57,881,597
June$32,019,834 $689,028 $32,708,862
YTD$528,022,377 $11,417,101 $539,439,478

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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