HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsFanDuel, DraftKings Each Can Claim Victory In Ohio In July

FanDuel, DraftKings Each Can Claim Victory In Ohio In July

It took seven months, but DraftKings in July finally climbed to the top of the Ohio sports betting "handle" - or amount wagered by patrons - rankings, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Image: IMAGO / Pond5 Images

The $116.2 million in wagering at DraftKings Ohio topped the $106.7 million that was bet on FanDuel in that month, after FanDuel Ohio had claimed top honors each month since Ohio launched legal, regulated sports betting on Jan. 1.

But numbers-minded observers both inside and outside of each company might prefer to look at a different number – total revenue. On that front, FanDuel won yet again, with $14 million in revenue compared to $11.8 million for DraftKings.

The rest of Ohio’s mobile sportsbooks combined totaled just $96.7 million in handle, underscoring the utter dominance by the two companies formerly known mainly for their daily fantasy sports products.

So who is staking claim to third place in the state? In July, it was Bet365 at $23.5 million to nose out BetMGM at $23 million and Caesars at $17.7 million.

Barstool Sports settled for sixth place at $9.9 million – which was more than twice as much handle as any of the other 11 sportsbooks in the state.

Bet365 also was third in revenue for July at $2.9 million compared to $2.8 million for BetMGM and Caesars with a relatively meager $1.2 million.

It’s worth noting that Bet365 first ascended to third place on both fronts in March in Ohio, and has now claimed that spot for three straight months. In the initial months of January and February, BetMGM and Barstool each attracted more bets than Bet365.

Still, BetMGM remains very close to Bet365 and could reclaim the spot in the fall – the first football season of legal sports betting in Ohio.

The Also-Ran Sportsbooks – How Long Can They Last?

“Consolidation” is a popular buzzword in the U.S. sports betting industry, and a look at Ohio’s sportsbooks from July shows why.

Tipico checked in at $4.7 million in handle but reported revenue of just $525,000. Hard Rock took $4.5 million in wagers and claimed $403,000 in revenue. Newcomer Fanatics – which only reported its first wagers in Ohio in April – had an impressive “hold” of $657,000 on just $3.3 million in wagers.

PointsBet and Rush Street (each at $2.3 million), along with BetJack ($1.7 million) and BetFred ($1.4 million), were the only other sportsbooks to take in seven figures in wagers in July.

Is there a realistic way forward for the rest? That includes – in order – Parx, Betway, Superbook, MVGBet, and Betr, the latter trailing the field with $313,000 in bets. MVGBet had the lowest revenue at $29,000.

Sportsbooks typically expect a “hold” of just under 10% of the amount wagered, returning the rest to winning bettors.

But Ohio books held a solid 11.2% of wagers in July, and they have held onto 10% or more of handle in every month except June – when bettors claimed all but 9% of the amounts wagered at sportsbooks.

The Retail Sportsbook Leaders In Ohio

Casual gamblers might not even be aware of the popularity of mobile betting apps in Ohio, noticing only the action at retail sportsbooks at casinos, racetracks, and sports arenas and stadiums.

But in July, the mobile operators took in $319.6 million in bets compared to just $11.5 million at all the retail sportsbooks combined.

That market leader was the Northfield Park harness racing track, which in addition to its horse racing betting, took in $2.9 million in other sports bets.

Next up was Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati at $1.6 million, the Hollywood Casino in Columbus at $1.4 million, and the Caesars Sportsbook at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ arena Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse at $1.1 million.

Also checking in at more than a half-million in wagers were the Jack Thistledown racino ($0.7 million), the Mahoning Valley Race Course and Dayton Raceway (each $0.6 million), and the Scioto Downs racetrack ($0.5 million).

Two of the on-site venues actually lost money in July – and both are Caesars sportsbooks. The one at the Cavaliers’ arena dropped $11,500, and the Scioto Downs book was $2,800 in the red for the month.

Monthly Handle, Promotional Gaming Credits Keep Dropping

Ohio has proven to be a prime example of both the seasonality of sports betting and the amount of promotional credits that mobile sportsbooks are willing to offer.

The Jan. 1 launch led to $1.1 billion in wagers that month – about 25% of the total amount bet in Ohio in the first seven months of the calendar year. That was buttressed by a 2023 high of $319.5 million in promotional credits as sportsbooks scrambled for market share.

The February handle – with the Super Bowl being the only football game of the month – declined to $621.3 million while promotional credits dropped even further, to $59.1 million.

March is time for NCAA men’s basketball “March Madness,” and as is typical across the U.S., the Ohio mobile sportsbooks enjoyed a bump to $715.3 million in handle even as promotional credits dwindled to $44.4 million.

The start of Major League Baseball in April, as usual, wasn’t enough to stave off a decline in handle to $505.6 million in April, with promotional credits dropping yet again to $24.2 million.

It was more of the same for May, with just $430.7 million being bet and just $23.1 million in promotional credits, and for June – $348.4 million in wagers and $14.9 million in promotional credits.

That led to $319.6 million being wagered in July and $10.7 million in credits. August will be slow as well – but handle in Ohio should clear $1 billion in each of the last four months of the year thanks to football, and operators will spend heavily on promotional credits as well.

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