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Ohio’s 16 regulated sportsbooks accepted more than $1.1bn worth of bets during the state’s first month with legal online wagering, one of the highest January totals in the nation.

Ohio bettors wagered $1.09bn online with the state’s legal sportsbooks in January, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, an impressive debut for one of the most-anticipated legal markets in the US.

Another $23m was wagered across the state’s 13 legal casino sportsbooks. Another $1.1m was wagered across several hundred betting kiosks at venues such as grocery stores and veterans organizations.

Overall, online wagering made up nearly 98% of the state’s total handle.

Led by digital sportsbooks, Ohio’s legal sports betting offerings recorded nearly $209m in taxable revenue. This was fueled by a nearly 19% operator hold percentage, nearly two-and-a-half times the national average.

At the state’s 10% rate, that means nearly $21m in taxes. The $209m is the highest single-month taxable revenue total in US sports betting history. Notably, the state’s 16 sportsbooks combined to offer nearly $320m in promotional bets.

Fanduel, DraftKings dominate again

FanDuel and DraftKings took the state’s top two spots in both handle and revenue, continuing a trend in nearly all other legal betting markets.

FanDuel, again, put up eye-popping numbers in Ohio despite the proliferation of competitors. The Flutter Entertainment-owned daily fantasy sports operator-turned-sports betting giant accounted for 45.3% of the state’s January handle and 50.2% of gross gaming revenue.

DraftKings, FanDuel’s long-time DFS rival, was second in both categories, with 31.6% handle and 26.8% GGR. BetMGM, which nationally has No. 3 sports betting market share, again finished third with 7.5% handle market share and 10.5% of the gross gaming revenue.

European gaming giant bet365 had the fourth-highest GGR share at 4.1% and was fifth in handle, with 3.5%. Ohio was the bet365’s fourth US launch and the first state where bet365 went live alongside its competitors on the inaugural day of legal wagering.

Penn Entertainment’s Barstool Sportsbook was fifth in GGR and fourth in handle. It was an impressive showing in a key market the company had invested heavily in: Penn operates four casinos in the state and Barstool has a strong Ohio following.

Caesars, nationally the No. 4 operator by handle, had sixth-place finishes in both handle and GGR. The Hard Rock online sportsbook was seventh in both categories, while its brick-and-mortar sportsbook at its Cincinnati casino was the highest-grossing and revenue-generating retail sportsbook in the state.

No other sportsbook recorded more than 1% market share by handle or revenue.

That list included Tipico, which stuck deals with MLS’ Colombus Crew and an Ohio-based live entertainment company. Other national brands including PointsBet, BetRivers, Betway and Betfred also struggled to capture significant market share.

Microbetting-focused startup Betr had roughly 0.1% market share in both handle and gross gaming revenue. Ohio was the company’s first of up to a dozen state launches planned over the next year.

Local brands betJACK and MVGBet combined for less than half of one percent of both the state’s total handle and GGR.

Taking into account the massive promotional spend, only Betr and Caesars took in more money in January than they paid out in just promotional bets. Sportsbooks have touted these massive spending blitzes at the beginning of state launches as a way to attract customers and generate long-term value.

Ohio places second nationally

Ohio is set to have the second-highest sports betting handle of any state this January, pending the release of Illinois’ figures next month.

With more than $1.1bn in combined online and retail wagers, Ohio trailed only New York ($1.8bn) in handle. New York, the nation’s highest-grossing market, has more than seven million more residents than Ohio.

Ohio’s January handle total clipped New Jersey, which was the nation’s highest-grossing sports betting market for several years, as well as Nevada, which had been the only legal single-game jurisdiction for decades. Ohio blew past the handle total of neighboring Pennsylvania ($772m), even though it has a smaller population.

The Buckeye State’s impressive figure was bolstered by millions of dollars in free bets and other sportsbook promos as well as months of advertising leading up to the Jan. 1 sports betting launch. With only three NFL games in February – and promo dollars declining – next month’s total will likely be substantially less.

Still, Ohio has already jumped into the ranks of the five highest-grossing markets, a position it seems unlikely to relinquish anytime soon.

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