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Thousands of Kentuckians have crossed bridge to bet in Ohio, making Cincinnati Ohio's top sports betting spot

1 in 5 U.S. adults expected to bet on Super Bowl this year
Posted at 10:42 AM, Feb 07, 2023

CLEVELAND — One out of five American adults are expected to place a bet on Super Bowl LVII this Sunday, that’s 50.4 million people according to a just released American Gaming Association (AGA) survey. That’s a 61% increase over last year’s record-breaking number.

The total tab wagered on this year’s championship game will be an estimated $16 billion, which is more than double last year’s estimate. The AGA has been conducting this annual survey for years and has seen record growth each year since the U.S. Supreme Court expanded legalized sports betting in 2018.

Sports betting legalization is also driving fan interest in the NFL, as more than a third (34%) of NFL fans say that the expansion of legal sports betting has made watching an NFL game more exciting.

“Every year, the Super Bowl serves to highlight the benefits of legal sports betting,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller in a release. “Bettors are transitioning to the protections of the regulated market, leagues and sports media are seeing increased engagement, and legal operators are driving needed tax revenue to states across the country,”

With the expansion of legal sports betting, the AGA reports traditional Super Bowl wagers are expected to pass casual wagers for the first time ever:

  • 30 million American adults plan to place a traditional sports wager online, at a retail sportsbook or with a bookie, up 66% from 2022.
  • 28 million plan to bet casually with friends or as part of a pool or squares contest, up 50% from 2022.

In case you’re wondering, bettors are evenly split on the outcome of the game, with 44% each planning to bet on the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. offer live, legal sports betting which covers about 57% of American adults. Ohio of course joined the others on Jan. 1 when sports betting went live.

GeoComply, the cybersecurity compliance company that provides geolocation checks for the mobile sports betting operators in the state to make sure bettors are physically in the state and can legally bet, processed 160 million of those checks in Ohio in January from 2.25 million unique player accounts.

When they break those checks down within 30 miles of a city’s center, they found Cleveland had the second most with 31.38 million checks behind Cincinnati with 38.18 million. Columbus, the state’s largest city, had 25.05 million.

Interesting to note that playing a role in the activity in Cincinnati was of course the Bengals playoff run, but also the fact they share a border with Kentucky, the only neighboring state of Ohio that does not offer legal sports betting.

“In the month of January 2,042 unique accounts were detected to have physically crossed the border into Ohio approximately 7,700 times,” the folks at GeoComply tell News 5. “Ohio is profiting from Kentuckians who prefer to wager in a legal market rather than the black market.”

They also recorded just over a million geolocation checks from users who were physically in Kentucky attempting to access a legal Ohio sports book — access that was denied.

The American Gaming Association points out that “the majority of traditional Super Bowl bettors (71%) report seeing a responsible gaming message in the last year. Importantly, younger Americans (under 35 years old) are more likely to recall seeing a responsible gaming message and younger bettors are more likely to say it is important to only wager legally.

“As interest in legal sports betting continues to expand, the gaming industry remains committed to responsibly delivering world-class entertainment, educating consumers about how to bet responsibly, and combating illegal gambling as we work to build a safe, competitive and sustainable legal market for all,” Miller said.