Ohio Sports Betting Booming, Cincinnati Proved Biggest Super Bowl Betting Activity

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General view of the fly over prior to the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP.

Ohio sports betting has pulled big numbers in the first two months since its launch, ranking second in the nation behind New York state. And of those cities in Ohio, Cincinnati proved to be the biggest Super Bowl betting market in the state despite the absence of the Bengals in the NFL’s biggest game on its grandest stage.

Queen City Leads the Way

The numbers in Ohio have been impressive since the state launched mobile betting on January 1st, 2023 and some experts say the state has even exceeded the lofty expectations many had before the launch.

During the weekend of January 1st and 2nd, the first two days of regulated sports betting in the Buckeye State, Ohio led the nation in sports wagering, topping even New York. Cincinnati has been the epicenter of the state’s sports betting activity and the Hard Rock Casino’s sportsbook in Cincinnati has been doing blockbuster business.

Matt Primeaux, executive managing director and president of Hard Rock Digital, said, “Cincinnati has been our top mobile market, and our brick-and-mortar sportsbook was the busiest of any Hard Rock property in the country in January.”

“Things are off to a fantastic start,” Jay Kornegay, SuperBook’s vice president of race and sportsbook operations, informed the Cincinnati Business Courier. “The handle in Ohio is already meeting some of our other jurisdictions that have been open a year or more. We had such high expectations for Ohio, and it’s already meeting those high expectations.”

Best Is Yet to Come

Max Bichsel, vice president of sports at the Gambling.com Group, stated, “The amount of activity on Super Bowl Sunday in Ohio is a clear representation of pent-up demand. Ohio continues to sustain itself as a strong sports betting market. The most basic explanations for why Ohio saw high volumes is enthusiasm for football, a large population, and potentially an affinity to support the team that barely eliminated the Bengals.”

Pent-up demand, indeed. Ohioans waited breathlessly for the legislature to get its ducks in a row and clear all of the bureaucratic red tape that seemed to endlessly bog down efforts to roll out sports betting to the thousands of Ohio denizens who had thirsted for sanctioned sports betting coming to the masses.

Ohio is a nascent sports betting market that is already yielding tremendous results. And once the market matures, the metrics will be even more impressive.

Many Bettors Coming From Kentucky

However, some of that prosperity is due to neighboring Kentucky currently being without sports betting which has prompted its residents to take a trip across state lines to get down in Ohio. If and when Kentucky does legalize sports betting, the Ohio market will feel the sting of those bettors being taken out of circulation.

Despite overwhelming support for sports betting by its citizens, Kentucky legislators have moved at a glacial pace in executing the will of the people. Several bills have died since being put forth in 2018, the year PASPA was overruled, paving the way for sports betting in the United States.

Sen. David Yates, D-Louisville, said, “If you’re a betting person, which I’m not, I think it’s a long shot that we get it done this [legislative] session. But we’re getting really close.”

He further added, “We have bipartisan support. Now, it’s just whether or not we have enough. I believe every member in the Democratic Caucus supports it, our governor supports it and we have Republican leadership that supports it.”