Ohio bet $739 million on sports in March

Finance News

Ohio’s sports betting industry bounced back in March, taking in more bets compared to February but not reaching the highs seen when legal gambling was first launched in the state.

In March, $738.6 million were bet on sports, up from $639.8 million in February. The record, so far, was the $1.1 billion bet on sports in January.

“It came out of the gates really aggressively,” explained JACK Entertainment senior vice president of sports and digital gaming Adam Suliman.

Suliman told 3News that promotional and advertisement spending has been reduced since January from sports betting operators. For example, in January, JACK Entertainment spent $1.2 million on promotions, as opposed to $230,000 in March.

To attract customers to their sportsbook, JACK Entertainment has held larger viewing events during main sporting events.

“We try to program our properties around specific events that folks want to get out on the town and enjoy with their friends,” said Suliman.

Meanwhile, more than 900 sports betting kiosks operated by the Ohio Lottery have generated around $75,000. 

“From a player perspective the biggest challenge continues to be player education on the type C program,” said Ohio Lottery communications director Danielle Frizzi-Babb.

While it’s unclear if sports betting played a role, Frizzi-Babb told 3News that there’s been a small impact on KENO in March and April.

However, the traditional lottery remains undeterred. Since July, lottery sales are around $3.4 billion.

“We are on pace to set another record this year for transfers to the Lottery Profits Education Fund,” said Frizzi-Babb.

Suliman expects sports betting operators to invest more funds in promotions closer to the fall, when football begins.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission releases updated revenue reports at the end of each month.