Catena Media said it recorded its strongest-ever start for a US state launch of licensed online sports betting.
The Malta-based affiliate revealed that according to its preliminary data, new registrations in Ohio have led to engagement levels that surpass its launch in New York in 2022.
“This is without doubt our strongest state sports betting launch period to date,” said Ryan Harper, vice-president of Catena Media North America.
“We’re delighted to see strong traffic on our websites in relation to the Ohio launch. Player engagement in licensed sports betting has been very solid.”
Catena operates in Ohio through its national brands including Legalsportsreport.com, Gamingtoday.com, Thelines.com and Lineups.com, as well as through strong regional websites such as Playohio.com.
Operating in over 20 regulated states and provinces in North America, Catena recorded revenue of €80m (£71m/$86m) in the 12 months to September 2022, representing a growth of 33% from 2021.
Ohio launches sports betting
Ohio is the sixth North American market to launch online sports gaming in the last year after New York, Louisiana, Ontario, Kansas and Maryland.
The state launched legal sports betting on 1 January 2023 after Ohio’s State House and Senate reached an agreement in December to pass the necessary legislation. The new law allows sports gaming at both land-based casinos and online providers.
The original bill permitted up to 20 licences for each, but this was amended to allow the state to issue more should there be a high number of satisfactory applicants.
Some of the operators to go live in Ohio on launch day were national market leaders FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings, as well as European businesses Bet365 and Tipico. Start-ups Betr and Prophet also launched the same day.
Catena may be sold
This news comes days after it was announced that Catena has appointed Carnegie Investment Bank AB as a financial advisor. The bank will assist the business in assessing strategic options for the potential sale of the remainder of its business.
Under the arrangement, Carnegie will participate in talks with third parties that have shown interest in acquiring certain assets from the affiliate company.
Last month, the affiliate agreed to sell off AskGamblers to Gaming Innovation Group for €45.0m, after iGB in November reported that a deal to offload the flagship brand was close.
This emerged following a strategic review that launched in May of last year, in which Catena explored the possibility of a sale.
This review was later expanded as Catena considered divesting all its European betting and igaming assets in order to focus on North American markets, with the business having confirmed that 25% of all its European staff base was laid off as part of the process.