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Ohio Casinos Regroup As Sportsbooks Hit Summer Lull

Written By Derek Helling on August 1, 2023 - Last Updated on September 20, 2023
woman lays on a beach representing the slowdown in ohio sports betting

How do you sweeten a traditionally slow month for regulated sports betting? Pair that result with a relatively strong performance for casinos and “racinos” (horse racetracks that also offer slots) in the same market. That’s just what Ohio managed in June.

Casinos posted more than $82.8 million in revenue for June as Ohio sportsbooks recorded their slowest month to date. Racinos in the state finished out their recent fiscal year with marginal improvements as well.

Ohio’s casinos get back on track in June

After a downturn in Ohio May casino revenue, a recovery was in order for June. The four properties managed to post a very slight gain on their June 2022 figures with the $82.8 million in taxable revenue.

All of them except for Hollywood Casino in Columbus saw minimal year-over-year declines in revenue. However, the small gain that Hollywood Casino enjoyed was sufficient to balance out those downturns.

Through the first six months of 2023, the four casinos have combined for more than $512 million in taxable revenue. That also puts them marginally ahead of where they were in that time frame last year.

Sportsbooks in Ohio did not enjoy a similarly respectable month. In fact, sports wagering activity in Ohio started off a summer vacation of sorts.

June sports betting represents summer slump

Ohio sportsbooks saw their first June swoon and it went exactly as expected. With a thin sports calendar and bettors using their expendable income on other purposes, a slowdown in activity for sportsbooks is highly typical for the month of June.

According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), Ohioans wagered more than $362.1 million at physical sportsbooks and via online apps during June. The sportsbooks won about 10.2% of that money, amounting to around $37.1 million.

Both the amount of money wagered and won represent new single-month lows for Ohio. However, the breakdown of the market stayed consistent. Once again, DraftKings and FanDuel dominated online betting. FanDuel accounted for 34.5% of the dollars bet online. Meanwhile, DraftKings represented another 33.7%.

The next two months could be similarly lean for Ohio sportsbooks before NFL betting returns. June wasn’t a lean month for slot revenue at Ohio racinos, though.

Racinos post slight gain in FY23

While the OCCC regulates casino gaming, the Ohio Lottery is the governing body for slots at racetracks. The Ohio Lottery reports revenue from those slots on a fiscal year instead of calendar year basis. Those fiscal years begin in July and end in June.

The Ohio Lottery’s latest report shows that slot win from the seven racinos totaled $129 million for June. That put win for the racinos for the entire fiscal year at more than $1.5 billion. That total was up about $31.4 million or a marginal 2% from FY22.

With everything all in, June was a decent month for Ohio’s regulated gambling industry. The state could only see better numbers through the rest of the year as sports betting picks up again.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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