DraftKings and FanDuel compete closely in many states, but it would hard for the mobile sportsbook titans’ rivalry to be any tighter than it was in Ohio in September.
From a total of $79.4 million in revenue claimed by 20 mobile operators last month, FanDuel took $28,481,818 and DraftKings $28,461,587, according to monthly data released Tuesday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Between them, the two leading operators claimed nearly 72% of September’s online revenue in the state.
Their combined statewide domination wasn’t much different in terms of September betting handle, although DraftKings had a somewhat bigger edge on its competitor there. It took $261.4 million in online bets compared to FanDuel’s $207.8 million, and between them that amounted to a top-heavy market share of 70.2% for the duo.
On a smaller scale, online and retail sportsbooks across the board benefited from the first month of packed football action since legal sports betting became possible in Ohio in January. September’s $690.4 million in total betting volume was 82.3% above August’s handle and the most since $737.2 million in March.
Total revenue of $81.5 million when adding the 15 retail sportsbooks’ earnings to that of mobile operators was the third highest in Ohio’s short history with wagering, trailing only the record $209.6 million of January and $94.9 million in March. The September hold rate among the books — the share they retained from what bettors wagered — was a healthy 11.8%.
At the 20% tax rate that Ohio began levying in July after doubling the initial levy, the state would have collected $16.3 million in taxes in September.
The promos provided a betting boost
Last month’s surge compared to August was due not just to football’s arrival but to an ample supply of bonus and promotional offers the online operators made available in competing for customers during the start of the busiest betting season. The promo total added up to $52.5 million, compared to a mere $15.2 million the month before.
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DraftKings was responsible for $17 million in such credits and FanDuel $12.2 million.
Behind them in overall use by Ohioans was BetMGM, which reclaimed third place in the state from bet365 by handling $46.1 million in bets, with $6.1 million in revenue. Slipping to fourth place was bet365, with $41.9 million in bets and $5.9 million in revenue.
While Caesars Sportsbook kept the fifth spot in usage, reporting $30.5 million in handle and $2.3 million in revenue, Fanatics Sportsbook continued gaining ground in the state. The merchandiser-and-now-sportsbook passed Barstool Sportsbook and climbed into sixth place in volume, with $23.7 million. While Fanatics reported $3.9 million in September revenue, however, that was more than offset by its $5.9 million in promotional giveaways.
PENN Entertainment is in the process of transitioning its online sportsbook’s branding from Barstool to ESPN BET, which is expected to occur in November and could make a difference in its market share. Last month, it took $20 million in bets and showed revenue of $1.1 million.
Among the smaller operators was Bally Bet, which was in its first full month of operations in Ohio and took $654,213 in bets, with $53,612 in revenue.
Retailers still take 3% of bets
Ohio retained its status as one of the most mobile-heavy of all sports betting states, with just $22.4 million of the $690.4 million in bets — about 3% — made in person in September. The retail sites kept $2.15 million as revenue.
While Hollywood Casino Columbus’ sportsbook took the most in bets, $4.4 million, multiple casinos or racinos claimed more in revenue, topped by JACK Thistledown’s $322,702.
Aside from its mobile operations, Fanatics has two relatively new retail sportsbooks in Ohio, and they both stood out for losing money. Its Columbus site adjacent to Nationwide Arena showed $205,243 in losses on a little more than $1 million in betting handle, and its Cleveland location adjacent to Progressive Field reported a $15,428 loss on $65,215 in wagers.
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