As the start of legalized sports betting in Ohio looms on the horizon, some are already feeling left out of the action. Ohio State Representative Ron Ferguson would have liked to see the start date come sooner, as he feels that Ohio is missing out on a lot of revenue by not being one of the first states to jump into this new industry.
Neighboring states Pennsylvania and West Virginia have been taking bets for years now, and reaping the benefits of being early entrants into this growing market.
“Unfortunately, we’re missing a lot of the football season, which is a busy time,” Ferguson said.
But he added that Ohio’s sports betting market would be in time for the Super Bowl LVII and bring more revenue for the state in the future.
Ohio Sports Betting Finally Coming
Ohio sports betting was finally legalized last December 2021, when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB29 into law, after other regulatory processes, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announced that the legalized sports betting market will launch on January 1, 2023.
After having a hard time finally pushing the legalization, Delegate Shawn Fluharty had some advice for Ohio legislators. He emphasized that they are working for nearly 4 years to get this done and making heavy lifting since the beginning.
“That gives you an idea of how hard that is. But my recommendation is once you get it passed, you allow the experts to take over. These gaming companies know what they’re doing, the regulators know what they’re doing, and you have to empower them through the regulatory process to be able to make changes and evolve as time goes on.”
The Ohio Lottery and OCCC will continue to regulate the betting industry and Ninety-eight percent of the tax revenue collected from this industry will be allocated to the sports gaming profits education fund, which is dedicated to supporting educational institutions across the state.
What to Expect?
Sports betting will be available online and through retail sportsbooks, as well as through self-service kiosks located in qualified businesses across the state. This will make it more different compared to other states which limit sports wagering to retail only or do not include sports betting kiosks in local businesses.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will oversee the sports betting program and issue licenses to operators. Eligible operators will include racetracks, casinos, and professional sports stadiums. Online and mobile betting will be available from anywhere in the state, while retail bets will need to be placed in person at a licensed location. Kiosks will be available in locations such as bars, restaurants, and other businesses that meet certain requirements.
“You don’t want to get left behind and that’s what happens to Ohio far too often. We need to take action so that we don’t get left behind and we want to also take a step farther and make sure that we’re leading,” Ferguson added.