Two Sportsbooks Battle for Revenue Supremacy in Ohio

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Amari Cooper #2 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball following his reception against the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

DraftKings was Ohio’s most popular sportsbook in September but in terms of revenue, the race was razor thin between the two online sports betting titans. With the inclusion of Ohio sports betting, the stakes are higher than ever.

DraftKings Wears the Crown

DraftKings and FanDuel have a veritable duopoly on sports betting in the United States with all the others fighting for the scraps. Only recently was FanDuel the undisputed leader in most of the domestic jurisdictions in which sports betting has been regulated, with DraftKings running a fairly close second.

However, DraftKings has eroded that lead to the point where the Boston-based bookmaker is now routinely the industry leader in sports betting volume. Data released from the Ohio Casino Control Commission revealed that DraftKings was once again the undisputed winner in betting handle with $261.4 million versus FanDuel’s $207.8 million in accepted wagers in September.

Between the two, they controlled nearly 68% of Ohio’s $690.4 million September mobile handle with 18 other companies fighting over the remaining 32 percent. This is a rather common scenario throughout the nation and one that next-tier companies like Caesars and BetMGM are trying to disrupt.


Although DraftKings was the undisputed handle leader, September’s revenue race was nearly a dead heat. When the dust settled and the data was compiled, FanDuel reported revenues of just $20,000 more than DraftKings.

That was just a drop in the bucket considering FanDuel generated $28,481,818 in revenues while DraftKings was virtually identical with $28,461,587. Therefore, of the $79.4 million in online sports betting revenue generated in September, the dynamic duo claimed 75.5% of that amount.

Overall, it was a banner month for sports betting in Ohio. When factoring in the 15 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, the total revenue came to $81.5 million which was the most since March’s $94.9 million and falling far short of the record set in January of $209.6 million, which was the state’s inaugural month in the sports betting industry.

In an industry where the standard hold, or win rate, is 7%, September’s 11.8% was a boon to the books. Ohio recently amended the sports betting legislation to hike the tax on the sportsbooks’ revenues from 10% to 20% which means the state should have collected $16.3 million in September.

Betting Surge Fueled by Football

The arrival of the NFL and college football seasons coupled with generous promotions and signup bonuses totaling $52.5 million spurred the flurry of betting activity which jumped over 82% from August’s handle.

Naturally, the major players, DraftKings and FanDuel, had the biggest promo budgets which revealed the former lavishing $17 million on its customers while the latter doled out $12.2 million. Those two comprised over 55.6% of the combined $52.5 million in promotional credits offered by all 20 sportsbooks. BetMGM made the podium as the No. 3 sportsbook in Ohio with a $46.1 million handle, generating $6.1 million in revenue. It was good enough to supplant bet365 from its bronze medal perch the previous month to where it took the fourth spot in September with $41.9 million in bets and delivered $5.9 million in revenue.