Ohio sports betting revenue will follow a seasonal pattern that may initially surprise Ohioans. Sports betting is a seasonal business. Bettors place money on the events that they’re most interested in. So, sports betting handles peak during the most popular sports seasons.
Sports betting’s peak season runs from September to March. This time includes football, professional basketball, and major events like the Super Bowl and March Madness. Because these sports and events are so popular, bettors wager more money on them.
The Super Bowl is a particularly important event for sportsbooks. Since the Super Bowl is one of the year’s biggest events, it’s a prime opportunity for sportsbooks to attract new customers. So, sportsbooks will offer large promotions during the Super Bowl.
That has important tax implications. Promotional credits are money that sportsbooks give to bettors. To get a true financial picture of how much actual money from bettors came in, sportsbooks have to subtract promo credits from gross revenue to arrive at taxable revenue.
During the Super Bowl, sportsbooks subtract so many promotional credits that they can show low or negative net revenue. That means they generate little tax revenue during the Super Bowl.
However, sportsbooks make up for it during the rest of football season and March Madness.
Potential return: How much tax revenue could Ohio sports betting generate for the state?
Ohio Sports Betting Revenue in the Slow Season
In contrast, the slow season runs from April to August when there’s less to bet on. Measuring revenue year-over-year offers a glimpse of how effective the customer acquisition during the Super Bowl and March Madness was in acquiring frequent bettors.
Some bettors only wager on major events like the Super Bowl and March Madness, but frequent bettors will bet throughout the year. They’ll generate sports betting revenue throughout the slow season and remain enthusiastic during the peak season.
Since Ohio isn’t legalizing online casinos, frequent bettors are important to Ohio’s online gambling revenue cycle. Sportsbooks make up for their slow seasons during peak months. But having a loyal base of customers increases baseline revenue throughout the year. If bettors want to know how Ohio sports betting is doing, growth between slow seasons is a good metric to check.
Where to wager in person: Application period open for Ohio sports betting kiosks
What to Expect at Launch
Ohio sports betting is set to go live on Jan. 1, 2023. That means that bettors will be able to place sports wagers toward the end of football season. New markets that launch during the peak season tend to fall into the seasonal pattern within a month or two. Sports bettors dive into sports betting quickly when there are popular sports to bet on.
But after March Madness ends, sports betting handle and revenue will fall. That’s part of the normal seasonality of sports betting. When football season starts again in September 2023, Ohio sportsbooks will recruit customers more aggressively. Sportsbooks acquire many customers at popular sporting events. So, bettors could expect a fresh round of lucrative bonuses during the new football season.
It won’t take long for Ohio’s sports betting industry to take off. Ohio sports betting revenue and handle records will be set in February or March and won’t be broken until the next peak season. Bettors may also see a drop in bonuses after March Madness, but some of those bonuses will return during the next football season.
Ohio sports betting revenue patterns will be a predictable rollercoaster.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez