Ohio’s Sports Betting Market Hits $6 Billion in Wagers for 2023

Ohio’s burgeoning sports betting market has experienced a surge, with bettors placing a total of $6 billion in wagers within just one year of the industry’s legalization. The state of Ohio gave the green light to sports betting on January 1, 2023, making it the seventh most populous state in the USA to join the ranks of states where sports wagering is legal.

In January 2023 alone, bettors placed a staggering $1 billion in wagers, resulting in tax revenue of $200 million in the first month of legalized betting. Despite the allowance for up to 40 retail sportsbooks in the state, an overwhelming 98% of bets were placed online, highlighting the prevalent preference for online sports wagering. Ohio also permits up to 25 online sports betting operators to run a maximum of two online sportsbooks each.

However, alongside the impressive numbers, the legalization of sports betting in Ohio has also brought about a concerning increase in problem gambling rates. The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio reported a significant uptick in calls, receiving approximately 1,500 calls from local players in January 2023 alone, a figure three times higher than the one recorded in January 2022. While the number of calls decreased in the following months, it remained substantially higher than the previous year’s figures.

Matthew Schuler, the executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, noted that sports betting can be more addictive than other forms of gambling, partly due to the wide array of betting options available. However, he also emphasized the availability of self-exclusion schemes and tools to help struggling players limit their exposure to the gambling industry.

Looking ahead, there is growing anticipation for the potential launch of legal iGaming in Ohio. Leading gambling company BetMGM is optimistic about the prospects of several states, including New York, Maryland, and Illinois, legalizing iGaming, with hopes that this could spur Ohio lawmakers to consider legalizing iGaming as well. According to BetMGM, the legalization of iGaming in New York, in particular, has the potential to catalyze the proliferation of online casino gaming and prompt action in Ohio.