Survey: Ohio Could Be Turning Point DraftKings Needs In Sports Betting Race

Written By Matt Schoch on July 20, 2022 - Last Updated on July 28, 2022
DraftKings Sportsbook

If DraftKings Sportsbook is looking for reasons to be optimistic heading into the next chapter of the sports betting arms race, they can look to Ohio.

The news around the sports betting giant has been mixed of late, but good news could be on the horizon. The Jan. 1 launch of Ohio sports betting could be just the jolt the Boston-based company needs to turn a corner.

According to a new PlayOhio survey, DraftKings far outpaces its rivals for name recognition in the state. When asked to name three sportsbooks that operate legally in the US, 36.8% of Ohio sports bettors cited DraftKings Sportsbook in the survey.

That’s tied with the number of bettors (36.8%) who did not name a sportsbook and much more than the second-most known brand in FanDuel (27.1%).

DraftKings also outpaced rival FanDuel as bettors were asked which Ohio sportsbook app they plan to download next year and which apps they already use.

That’s all great news as DraftKings looks ahead to its next year, and perhaps next phase, of market competition.

24% of Ohio bettors already use the DraftKings sports betting app

That makes surveys such as the one PlayOhio conducted last month even more telling.

And the numbers support how DraftKings Sportsbook could someday point to strength in Ohio as a catalyst for a strong 2023 position. In addition, maybe Ohio could one day be a major part of the stories told in mega-states California, Texas and Florida whenever those states launch online sports betting.

Nearly 1 in 4 survey respondents (24.5%) say they use DraftKings, while 17.6% of Ohio sports bettors say they don’t use apps from any sports betting brands.

Only 17.1% said they use FanDuel.

Further down the list were other rivals such as BetMGM (8.1%), which has a horse racing betting app live in Ohio; offshore sportsbook Bovada (2.7%); and Caesars (2.7%), which also has a regulated horse betting app in the state.

Non-regulated brands BetOnline (1.9%) and Bet365 (1.8%) also got affirmative responses from more than 1 in 100 respondents. Barstool Sportsbook, which is legal online in neighboring Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia, drew 1.0% of respondents.

How do DraftKings and FanDuel stack up for Ohio DFS? We don’t know

Unlike some other states, the Ohio Casino Control Commission does not collect nor release data about fantasy contest usage in Ohio. So, that important metric about brand recognition and customer database for the rivals is not available.

While DraftKings and FanDuel are subject to Ohio’s Commercial Activity Tax and other taxes, the gaming commission doesn’t have an extra tax that would necessitate public reporting.

OCCC spokesperson Jessica Franks told PlayOhio:

“The Commission’s main focus with operators is ensuring they are in compliance with all rules and regulations – including the consumer protection provisions included in the enabling legislation.”

DraftKings needs positive results in the Ohio sports betting market?

Since BetMGM Sportsbook joined America’s Coke and Pepsi of daily fantasy brands in the sector’s upper crust with a strong Michigan launch last year, DraftKings seems to be the brand attracting the least desirable headlines.

FanDuel is the clear No. 1 national sportsbook, BetMGM has a dominant online casino position to incite enthusiasm for its future, and DraftKings is still searching for wins relative to its rivals.

Being at the head table hasn’t been enough for investors, as DraftKings stock is down more than 300% since its 52-week high last September.

DraftKings is not alone in sports betting’s Wall Street slump, but the brand has been a whipping boy of sorts industry-wide.

CEO Jason Robins’ saying the quiet part out loud about the company hoping to limit sharp bettors and attract more casuals reached the mainstream press.

That gave the public a glimpse behind the curtain at something the industry was hoping never showed up in headlines.

Stock prices and underwhelming revenues aren’t huge causes for concern in such a new market. But headlines seem to skew negative in other respects for DraftKings lately, while BetMGM and FanDuel seem to be winning the perception battle.

One analyst even opined the color scheme — with the implication DK’s black and green doesn’t stack up with FanDuel’s lighter blue-on-blue look — isn’t talked about enough.

‘W’ could be on the horizon for DraftKings in Ohio

DraftKings could use a win.

FanDuel is the clear No. 1 in sports betting handle nationally. The highest-profile U.S. launch this year, New York, represented another win for the Flutter brand.

In New York revenue numbers released last week, FanDuel took in $80.2 million in bets for the week ending July 10, good for a 42.2% market share.

DraftKings haul of bets was $52.1 million for a 27.4% share. That mark tied its highest market share for a week in N.Y., but is still a far cry behind FanDuel’s dominant total.

Time will tell if the landscape changes before launch

As we know from the temperatures outside, there’s still a lot of time from now until Jan. 1.

Football season will bring captive audiences for television advertisements, which you know are coming to Ohio soon.

And for many, free stuff still rules the day: Which operator pushes the best sign-up bonuses will factor in.

But as far as market position with a few months until launch, DraftKings Ohio couldn’t ask for a better place to be this summer.

More PlayOhio survey results

PlayOhio surveyed 620 Ohio residents who currently bet on sports in Ohio. The survey results shed light on how much interest Ohio sports betting will draw upon launch and how current bettors will react to the regulated market.

Among the survey findings:

  • Over 90% said betting on a legal site is either “very important” or “somewhat important;”
  • Nearly 50% plan to bet one-five times a week, yet many do not know what the legal options will be;
  • More than half plan to sign up for a new sportsbook app once sports betting is legal.

Find more details about the survey results here.

Methodology

Except where noted, all data in this article comes from a survey commissioned by PlayOhio.com and conducted by Pollfish, an online survey platform. In total, 620 American adults over the age of 25 were surveyed, with a margin of error of ~5%. To qualify for the survey, a screening question was used to determine whether each respondent bet on sports.  The survey was conducted from May 31 to June 8, 2022, and included multiple choice and open-ended questions.

All respondents were asked to answer questions honestly. 58.1% of respondents identified as male, and 48.9% identified as female. The respondent age breakdown is as follows:

  • 25-34: 29.0%
  • 35-44: 33.9%
  • 45-54: 19.0%
  • 55+: 18.1%
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt Schoch has seen the Midwest casino industry from all sides. From a leading analyst for Michigan's online market to his time as a blackjack dealer in Chicago, Schoch knows what's ahead for Ohio. Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. Schoch has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates, "Ypsi's Emoni."

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