Massachusetts vs. Ohio Sportsbooks: Who Had The Better First Month?

Written By David Fletcher on May 2, 2023
Comparing Ohio and Massachusetts online launches in the first month, from

Before Massachusetts, Ohio was the latest state to launch online sports betting.

Massachusetts online sportsbooks launched on March 10, and throughout the rest of the month, sports fans wagered more than $548 million. That means a total of $24.9 million was wagered per day from March 10-31.

But how do the numbers from Massachusetts online sportsbooks stack up to Ohio’s in the first month?

Let’s take a look.

Massachusetts vs. Ohio

There are quite a few similarities and differences between the Ohio and Massachusetts launches.

For starters, Ohio has nearly 5 million more residents than Massachusetts. That means sportsbooks have a bigger audience to reach.

In its first month of online sports betting, Ohio eclipsed the $1 billion mark with a reported total handle of $1,114,101,739. That is by far and away higher than Massachusetts’ handle of $548 million.

However, when comparing these numbers, it’s important to note that Ohio went live at the beginning of the month on January 1. Massachusetts went live in the middle of the month on March 10. In total, Ohio was live for a full 31 days in its first month, while Massachusetts was live for 22 days

Considering Massachusetts residents didn’t have the online betting option for a little over a week in March, the handle is quite sizable.

Day-by-day numbers

When breaking down the numbers day-by-day, Ohio bettors wagered $35.9 million per day, while Massachusetts bettors wagered $24.9 million per day.

When you account for the average handle per day for the 10 days missed, Massachusetts’ total handle could have been a lot closer to $800 million for the month had online wagering been available the full month. 

It’s also worth nothing that the launches for each state came at different times of the sports calendar. For example, Ohio’s January 1 launch came during the NFL Playoffs. Football is the most popular sport in the U.S. In fact, according to data collected by CRG global, 81% of bettors had placed a wager on an NFL game, which is significantly higher than the second most wagered on sport, NBA basketball.

Massachusetts’ March launch missed out on the NFL Playoffs, but came just in time for March Madness betting.

All things considered, Massachusetts may have had the best debut for online sports betting in the country.

How Massachusetts compares to other states

Here is how the state’s handle measures up in the first month against other states with recent and comparable size launches.

State Total Handle Handle Per Day
Tennessee $131,444,523 $4,381,484
Arizona $291,212,868 $13,236,948
New Jersey $95,634,048 $3,084,969
Ohio $1,114,101,739 $35,938,765
Massachusetts $584,476,649 $24,967,120

As you can see, Massachusetts had one of the strongest performances for a market of its size in the first month of launching. It could very well end up being one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sports betting markets in the country.

MA online sportsbooks going forward

Whether residents maintain March’s daily betting pace is to be determined.

March Madness tipped off less than a week after online sports betting launched and projections had residents wagering close to or more than $120 million on the tournament. If the projections prove to be true, that’s a sizable chunk of the monthly handle. 

April numbers should be available close to the end of May. They will include the NBA and NHL playoffs, so it’s going to take a while to see how engaged residents are with sports betting outside of major sporting events.

The fall will shed plenty of light on the future of sports betting in Massachusetts, especially around the sports equinox in October

Photo by
David Fletcher Avatar
Written by

David Fletcher

David Fletcher is a Staff Writer for Play MA. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University and is currently employed full-time in a senior corporate communications role for a top 20 accounting firm. He also has nearly a decade of experience covering high school sports and local news for multiple small daily newspapers, and professional and collegiate sports in the Houston area for a start-up sports reporting organization. He is a big fan of the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and, unfortunately, according to him, the Houston Texans. He enjoys bringing his love of sports and writing to the gaming industry to provide insight into quality sports bets.

View all posts by David Fletcher