The sports betting news never seems to stop and most of the updates tend to be on the positive side of things. That isn’t the case when it comes to the state of Ohio, and things fell apart for this state in a hurry.
There was a massive launch back in the state of Ohio in January, but things have really started to slow down for sportsbooks. Now lawmakers in the state have passed a new law that will change the overall outlook of the industry.
Ohio is still putting up some solid sports betting numbers, but things could head in the wrong direction if this new law has a negative impact.
Sports Betting in Decline
The May sports betting numbers for the state of Ohio are out, and it was a very disappointing month for the state. That has been the trend for Ohio ever since a massive launch in January in which the total sports betting handle was more than $1.1 billion.
The total sports betting handle in May was just $447.5 million, and there is serious concern about the future of this sports betting market. Sportsbooks still won more than 13% of the wagers for the month, and that allowed the total revenue to be respectable.
Ohio had more than a dozen sportsbooks launch back on January 1, and there hasn’t been much growth since that time. Operators have all offered up some massive promotions to sports bettors, but they just haven’t been able to keep bettors interested.
Sports betting handle has now declined every single month since January, and it doesn’t look as if things will turn back around anytime soon.
Sports Betting Tax Doubled
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was a big supporter of legal sports betting, and he helped get enough support to get a bill passed. DeWine has now made a decision that is going to negatively impact the industry as he included doubling the sports betting tax in his budget proposal.
There was no language in the original sports betting bill to suggest this change was coming, but it got enough support from lawmakers to pass with a vote. Sports betting revenue is now going to be taxed at a rate of 20% after it was originally just 10%.
Ohio went from a state with a very reasonable sports betting tax to now being a state with a high tax rate. The new tax rate went into effect on July 1, 2023.
Illinois Dominating the Midwest
This dip in sports betting from the state of Ohio has made one thing clear, and that’s that the state of Illinois is the clear leader in the Midwest. This has actually been true for more than a year, but the big January in Ohio did look like it would become a threat.
Illinois has now produced the second-most sports betting handle and revenue through April in 2023, and it’s going to continue on that path. The state of New York is the only market that is bigger than Illinois, and the Land of Lincoln does not have to worry about a challenge from Ohio.