Ohio sports betting was expected to be legalized at some point in 2021, but things fell apart at the end of the year. Lawmakers will once again try to pass a bill in 2022, but there is still plenty of work to be done.Jump to
There are a few sports betting bills that could be debated in the state legislature, and that has been part of the holdup. Deciding which group will be put in charge of regulating or overseeing the new industry is a major hurdle.
Ohio is looking to join several states in the Midwest portion of the US that have recently legalized sports betting. Ohio has a large number of professional sports teams that would drive the industry when it is eventually legalized.
Both retail and online sports betting is expected to be offered in Ohio, but most of the final details have not yet been revealed. There is still anticipation that Ohio sports betting could launch at some point in 2022.
More recently, Ohio State Senator Kirk Schuring proposed legislation that would expand the scope and range of legal sports betting in the state. His bill would offer 40 licenses with a $1 million initial fee. An additional $500,000 would be charged in the second and third years of operation.
It is expected that Ohio sports betting will feature both retail and online sportsbooks. Both of those betting options were included in the most recent bill that was proposed, and that would be the best way for Ohio to become a real factor in the industry.
There are close to 10 Ohio casinos currently in operation, and those properties would have the ability to offer retail sports betting. It’s unclear if these properties would be required to partner with a sports betting operator or if they could launch sports betting on their own.
Senator Schuring’s proposal earmarks 20 of the 40 licenses for online sportsbooks. They would be required to build and operate a retail sportsbook in the state to take advantage of the new laws allowing online betting.
Ohio online sports betting is expected to bring in the most wagers when that part of the industry launches. Some of the biggest names in the industry have already hinted at looking to expand into OH when that becomes an option.
Lawmakers have already made it clear that remote registration would be available for OH online sports betting, but nothing will be official until a law is passed. Remote registration would allow bettors to sign up for sports betting account without having to step foot inside of a retail sportsbook.
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OH Sports Betting Rules
Without actual sports betting law in place, it is hard to project exactly what sports betting markets will be available in OH. It is expected that OH sports betting legislation will give sportsbooks a lot of freedom, and each operator will be able to choose from that list of betting markets.
Professional sports in the US will be the most featured betting markets, and OH has plenty of professional sports teams to help drive the industry. Football is expected to be one of the most popular sports to bet on, as is the case throughout the US.
College sports betting will also likely be offered when OH sports betting launches, and there is one university that should bring in plenty of bets. Ohio State University has a massive following in the state, especially when it comes to Buckeyes football.
For sports bettors in Ohio that like to follow international sports and teams, that will also be an option as well. The discussion of esports has been been brought up in the new sports betting legislation that has been recently proposed. By bringing esports into the mix, Ohio would take a progressive approach to this new and exciting betting option. The state could become a model for other esports markets throughout the US.
OH Sports Betting Regulations
There could be multiple betting bills still on the table in the OH state legislature, and each bill is just slightly different. OH SB 111 is the bill that has gained the most support. However, it is likely that more than one piece of legislation will be focused on in 2022.
Senator John Eklund was the leading sponsor of OH SB 111, but his term is up, and that could create a new set of issues moving forward. Representative Brigid Kelly was a co-sponsor of the bill, and she is expected to reintroduce the bill again in early 2022.
With this bill, both online and retail sports betting would be legalized, but a final number of available licenses has not been established. The Ohio Casino Control Commission is expected to be the regulatory body that oversees sports betting.
There was a strong push to have the state lottery oversee sports betting, and that was a big reason for the delay in getting a bill passed. Now that the regulatory body appears to be established, it should allow lawmakers to hammer out some of the other key issues.
It has not been easy for lawmakers in this state to legalize Ohio sports betting, but it does appear that an end is in sight. There was plenty of progress made during 2020 and 2021 that legalizing sports betting in 2022 is a real possibility.
When OH sports betting is launched, it is expected that both retail and online sportsbooks will be available. The number of options has not yet been confirmed at this time, but Ohio should be able to attract some of the top sportsbooks in the industry.
With a large number of professional and collegiate sports teams in the state, bettors should flock to sportsbooks once it becomes a legal option. There is still plenty of work to be done, but OH sports betting could become a major player in the US industry at some point in 2021 and beyond. It could also be a model for innovation with the inclusion of esports.