Although sports betting won’t be legal in Ohio for a few months, plenty of Ohioans continue to place wagers on sporting events in nearby states or by using unregulated offshore sportsbooks.
When legal sports betting in Ohio launches Jan. 1, residents will have a litany of options for moving their wagers to legal sportsbooks in Ohio.
A poll conducted by NBC4, Emerson College and The Hill indicated that 84% of Ohio residents don’t plan to bet sports.
But current bettors appear very interested in doing so, according to a PlayOhio survey of 620 Ohio residents who currently bet on sports in Ohio. Other survey findings:
- Over 90% said betting on a legal site is either “very important” or “somewhat important;”
- Nearly 50% plan to bet one to 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 in Ohio is legal.
The survey results shed light on just how much interest Ohio sports betting will draw from the start, including which sports betting operators are most popular with current bettors and how often they plan to bet legally on sports in Ohio.
Ohio bettors vastly prefer betting legally, online
More than 90% of current Ohio bettors look favorably upon legal sports betting. Over 65% of respondents said betting on a legal site is “very important.”
According to the American Gaming Association, 52% of all sports bettors bet offshore. A bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers recently sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the Justice Department to prosecute offshore sportsbooks.
When it comes to legal betting, survey respondents overwhelmingly are planning to use online sportsbooks when asked to mark all the methods they would use. Nearly 80% of bettors plan to use an online sportsbook over a lottery kiosk (24.8%) or retail sportsbook (20.8%).
46% plan to bet 1-5 times per week
As far as betting frequency, 46.6% of Ohio bettors said they plan to place bets one-to-five times per week. That is comparable to the American Gaming Association’s figure: 42% of Americans who participate in sports betting gamble on sports a few days per week.
Ten percent of respondents plan to bet daily, and 2.4% said they will bet multiple times per day.
Forty-one percent said they will bet less than once a week.
55% will sign up for a new Ohio sportsbook app
More than half of the respondents (55.7%) plan to sign up for a new sportsbook once regulated sports betting in Ohio launches. Only 14.8% do not plan to sign up for a new app, and 29.5% said they do not know.
As for which sportsbooks can expect an influx of new customers, recent marketing pushes appear to have had an effect in Ohio.
The top four sportsbooks current bettors plan to use when Ohio sports betting goes live are DraftKings (58.4%), FanDuel (52.3%), BetMGM (36.3%) and Caesars (28.6%). All have been advertising heavily in recent months.
Barstool Sportsbook (20.0%) and PointsBet (14.5%) also should expect plenty of new customers.
Among online operators, DraftKings and FanDuel have a head start on attracting these new customers, according to survey results.
When asked to list three sportsbooks that operate legally in the U.S., 36.8% said DraftKings, 27.1% said FanDuel, 22.9% said BetMGM and 14.8% said Caesars. The only other sportsbooks mentioned in more than 2% of responses were Barstool Sports (3.7%) and Fox Bet (2.4%).
Unsurprisingly, DraftKings and FanDuel have a leg up regarding sports betting apps that Ohioans are using. Nearly 25% of respondents already use the DraftKings app, and over 17% already use FanDuel. Both offer legal daily fantasy sports contests in Ohio.
75% looking forward to the 2023 NFL season
Football betting represents around 30% of national handle, and the PlayOhio survey suggests the NFL and college football also will be the biggest draws in Ohio.
More than 75% of respondents plan to bet on the NFL, and another 51.9% plan to bet on college football. The NBA came in next at 47.4%, followed by MLB (32.9%), the NHL (18.7%), soccer (14.4%), golf (14.2%) and tennis (7.9%).
Current Ohio bettors have a slight lean toward the Cleveland Browns (53.9%) over the Cincinnati Bengals (46.1%) when it comes to which of Ohio’s NFL franchises they are more interested in betting on.
What’s next for Ohio sports betting?
The deadline to apply for retail and online sports betting licenses passed July 15. Operators still can apply for these licenses but will not be guaranteed to launch on Ohio’s universal sports betting start date of Jan. 1.
Dozens of professional sports franchises, casinos, racinos and online sportsbooks filed their applications during the final week of Ohio’s first sports betting license application window.
A second application window is open through Aug. 15 for businesses that want to host an Ohio kiosk.
A wide variety of Ohio businesses will add the kiosks, including bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, golf courses, hotels, convenience stores, truck stops and supermarkets.
As of Aug. 12, the Ohio Lottery had pre-approved 1,254 businesses to host a sports betting kiosk.
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%
Additional PlayOhio stories on its sports betting survey:
- Survey: Ohio Could Be Turning Point DraftKings Needs In Sports Betting Race
- Sports Betting Kiosks Could Be More Popular Than Sportsbooks In Ohio, Survey Says
- Survey: NFL Will Be King In Ohio, But Buckeyes Could Be Most Bet-On Team
- Survey: Despite Super Bowl Trip, Cleveland Browns Betting Will Eclipse Cincinnati Bengals In Ohio