The increase in handle suggests that Ohioans are increasingly choosing to wager through kiosks provided by their favorite bar or restaurant. While the $1.2 million handle is still significantly lower than the $520 million handled in April by online sportsbook companies, it is a step in the right direction after a shaky January beginning.
The strong May numbers are likely due to several factors, including the increasing popularity of sports betting in general, the growing number of kiosk locations, and the convenience of placing a bet without downloading an app or signing up for an online account.
As the Ohio sports betting market matures, we should see continued growth in kiosk locations and the amount of handle increasing through the OH Lottery betting kiosks. This is good news for the Ohio Lottery, which receives a 10% share of the revenue from sports betting.
Sports Bet Ohio Leads the Way
Sports Bet Ohio is a provider of sports betting kiosks in Ohio. In May 2023, the company reported a handle of $670,173, which generated $85,467 in gross gaming revenue. The GGR was split between the Ohio Lottery and the 736 kiosk hosts. Each host received $783 for hosting a Sports Bet Ohio betting kiosk.
UBet, Ohio’s sports betting kiosks, experienced a significant drop in revenue in May. The kiosks generated $6,419 in GGR, down from $13,427 in April. The Ohio Lottery received $664 in taxes from UBet Ohio’s kiosks in May, down from $1,329 in April. Hosts earned $137.52 in May, down from $275 in April.
Gold Rush Gaming generated $19,049 in GGR in May through its 71 host locations. The company handled $165,804 in bets during the month, a 10% increase from April.
The Ohio Lottery received $1,905 in taxes from Gold Rush Gaming’s sports betting operations in May. The 71 retail locations earned $241.46 from Gold Rush Gaming’s sports betting operations in May, an average of $3.41 per $100 wagered.
BetSkyBox has seen a decline in betting handle and GGR in each of its first three months of operation. In May, the kiosk proprietor earned $8,911, of which $891 went to the Ohio Lottery. The remaining $8,020 was shared with the 36 hosts, each making an average of $247.42 for hosting a BetSkybox betting kiosk.
BetIGG saw a rise in betting handle in May but paid out 98.74%, resulting in a GGR of $1,078.00. The 50 host locations each earned $19.40, while the Ohio Lottery collected $108 as their cut of the profits.
Other notable news from the May OH Lottery report includes;
Ohioans are becoming increasingly comfortable using betting kiosks, as indicated by the fifth consecutive month of decreased voided bets. This trend is expected to continue during the upcoming NCAAF and NFL seasons when Ohioans gather at their favorite local watering holes to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns.
With more people embracing the convenience of betting kiosks, these venues will likely see increased engagement and activity.
Unlike their online counterparts, the five OH Lottery kiosk providers aren’t allowed to offer promotional bonuses for using the kiosks. This puts the betting kiosk companies at a distinct disadvantage and is likely why most Ohioans are still opting to download an app and bet through the FanDuel and DraftKings of the world.
Differing from some states, OH Lottery limits the betting catalog to spread bets, Over/Under, moneyline, and parlays with no more than four components or legs. With the growing popularity of prop bets, adding an amendment to House Bill 29 with added markets could help the kiosk companies and their hosts an opportunity for further growth.
There are concerns about the revenue distribution between kiosk providers and OH retail hosts in Ohio’s sports betting industry. Retail hosts pay a $25 application fee for a Class C host license valid for three years before renewal is required.
The companies providing the kiosks pay the $15,000 application fees for Class C sports betting licensing. Under the Type-C retail kiosk model, around 75% of the revenue goes to the proprietor, while 25% goes to the OH retail host. However, the hosts’ overhead is small, and they should see more revenue when NCAAF and NFL football begin in late August.