COLUMBUS — With the Jan. 1 launch imminent, Ohio’s state coffers and sports betting operators alike are already looking forward to reaping the financial benefits of legal sports gambling.

Using Arizona – another market of similar size that launched in similar circumstances – calculated first year financial projections for Ohio’s first full year of sports betting.

Ohio can anticipate bringing in $8.8 Billion in handle (the gross dollar amount of wagers placed during a given time period) in its first year. This number would rank them second in the nation behind New York, which brings in $13.7B a year.

Here are other states and how they stacked up in the first 365 days of legal sports betting:

SportsBetting graphic

As the calendar flips forward to December, we’re now exactly a month away from the first of the year, which happens to be the opening day of sports betting in Ohio.

Sportsbooks are slated to go live at the stroke of midnight Jan. 1, setting the stage for what should be one of the most anticipated launches in American sports betting.

The Buckeye State will become the first state to launch in 2023 and follow Maryland and Kansas, which launched late in 2022. wanted to get a sense of what the Ohio sports betting apps handle could look like in 2023.

Using Arizona — a state of similar size that recently finished its first full year of sports betting operation — as a benchmark, we were able to get a feel for what Year 1 might look like.

Ohio Sportsbooks Set for Historic Start in 2023

There’s no doubt operators have long had their eye on the state of Ohio, given its sports-rich culture and sizable population base.

We can deduce Ohio sportsbooks will quickly become some of the biggest revenue draws in the nation, based on the size of Ohio’s population (11,799,448) and the initial year performance of our comparison state.

Like Arizona, Ohio also has access to at least one NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA team and has one of the strongest Power Five college programs in Ohio State.

Although Arizona launched in September to take full advantage of the NFL and college football seasons — the high water mark of the American sports betting calendar — Ohio will be bolstered by the NFL playoffs, the NBA and NHL regular seasons and the heart of the college basketball schedule.

The two states aren’t too different population-wise, with Ohio having 11,799,448 residents to Arizona’s 7,151,502.

In Year One, Arizona sportsbooks took in $5.4 billion in wagers, averaging out to $746.64 per resident.

Assuming Ohio bettors wager in similar volumes, we can project the Buckeye State will see $8.8 billion worth of wagers during the first calendar year of operation, which averages out to $734.16 million per month.

Where Ohio Sports Betting Projections Rank Nationally

The Buckeye State would rank second nationally among all U.S. states’ first year mobile wagering totals, behind New York’s $13.668 billion (between Jan. 8 and Nov. 13).

Ohio’s $8.8 billion projection would rank ahead of some of the nation’s cornerstone sports betting markets, like Illinois ($5.5 billion), Arizona ($5.43 billion), and Virginia ($3.22 billion).

We’re still a month away from the opening day of Ohio sports betting, but we already can see why sportsbook operators are salivating at the opportunity presented by the Buckeye State.

It appears operators will get their New Year’s wish, with the Ohio sports betting scene kicking off in earnest as the ball drops on Jan. 1.

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