Ohio’s First Year of Legalized Sports Betting Generates Nearly $800 Million

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A general view as fans gather outside Quicken Loans Arena before a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks on October 30, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Betting Is Big in the Buckeye State

Ohio is finishing its first year of offering legalized sports betting to residents. There are still several more weeks to add up, but it’s generated a little more than $760 million in revenue to this point.

The revenue surpassed the initial predictions of the legislative commission. They had initially estimated around $31 million in taxes from sports betting, but the actual amount exceeded that expectation. According to experts, this success is largely credited to the state’s abundance of sports teams.

The biggest sports betting revenue-generating months in Ohio, as of this writing, include:

  • January: $209.6 million
  • March: $94.8 million
  • September: $81.9 million
  • October: $80.2 million

It’s safe to say the money being generated has been pretty consistent throughout the first year.

Sports Betting Tax Money Rolling Into Buckeye State

In July, the state opted to increase the tax on betting revenue, doubling the rates from 10% to 20%. This decision led to the collection of nearly $100 million in taxes this year, so far.

The tax money Ohio makes largely goes to the general revenue fund for schools. Additionally, 2% is set aside to aid those dealing with gambling addiction, and 0.5% of license fees contribute to a fund supporting veterans.

More Sports Books Coming To Ohio

Columbus is making moves to spruce up the Hollywood Casino area, aiming to make it a hotspot for tourists. On top of that, the number of online sportsbooks in Ohio is on the rise.
Currently, there are about 20 operators in the state, and experts predict this number will grow by the end of next year.

Why? Fifteen entities that were granted licenses to offer sports betting in Ohio have not yet started their operations, including:

  • The Cleveland Browns
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers
  • The Columbus Crew

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) recently extended the deadline for all fifteen. They now have until June 30, 2024, to launch their operations. If these entities fail to launch by the new deadline, their licenses could be revoked by the OCCC, and they could potentially lose the $150,000 application fee.

But what’s more likely to happen is the applications would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Executive Director Matt Schuler and the commission’s staff, with further individual waiver extensions possible.

The original deadline for startup was January 1, 2024, which was one year from the date when legal sports betting began in Ohio. The OCCC approved the six-month waiver almost simultaneously with starting the process of fixing a drafting error in the “use it or lose it” regulations.

These regulations and the deadline are designed to ensure that those who obtain sports gaming licenses in Ohio carry out their roles in furthering the industry.

It already looks like it’s working. With the proliferation of college and pro teams in multiple sports to bet on, and the push to make sports betting even bigger in the Buckeye State, it appears any record set in Ohio during the first year of legalized sports betting, was made to be broken.

Stay tuned.