Ohio sports betting was expected to be legalized at some point in 2020, but things fell apart during that year’s legislative session. Still determined to move forward on the issue, lawmakers once again tried to pass a bill by the end of last year. In early December, both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House finally got the job done by passing House Bill 29 by a strong majority.
That piece of legislation was then signed into law Governor Mike DeWine but there is still plenty of work to be done.Jump to
There were a few sports betting bills that had been debated in the state legislature, and that was just part of the holdup. Deciding which group will be put in charge of regulating or overseeing the new industry was another major hurdle to clear.
As its stands with the new law, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (CCC) will oversee the sports betting industry in the state.
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 sports betting eventually goes live.
Both retail and online sports betting will 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 by the end 2022. This depends on the regulatory process following the timeline recently released by the CCC.
Jan. 1, 2023 has been set as the “universal” date for launch as written into the provisions of HB29. This means that both retail and online sports betting will go live at the same time.
Ohio State Senator Kirk Schuring proposed legislation that would expand the scope and range of legal sports betting in the state. Licensing fees could exceed $10 million the first year. The tax rate on sports betting revenue would be set at 10%.
Ohio sports betting will feature both retail and online sportsbooks. Both of those betting options were included in the most recent bill that was signed into law, and that would be the best way for Ohio to become a real factor in the industry.
There will be up to 11 Type A sports betting licenses issued for in-state casinos. Another 10 Type A licenses will cover in-state professional sports teams.
The new law earmarks 25 Type B licenses for online sportsbooks and other land-based gaming venues. There are also provisions in the bill for sports betting kiosks in a limited number of bars and restaurants. Known as a Type C license, the law allows for up to 20 locations with a D-1, D-2 or D-5 liquor license.
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.
Sites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and William Hill would likely be some of the first sportsbooks to offer online sports betting in the state.
Lawmakers have already made it clear that remote registration would be available for OH online sports betting. 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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Ohio Sports Betting Rules
As the betting regulations process continues, 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.
The NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals should be a huge draw for bettors. Other professional franchises located in Ohio include the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, MLB’s Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds and the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets
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 sports betting regulations that have 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.
Ohio Sports Betting Regulations
There were multiple betting bills on the table in the OH state legislature, and each bill was just slightly different. OH SB 111 was a popular bill. However, HB29 eventually gained the most support among state lawmakers.
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Senator John Eklund was the leading sponsor of OH SB 111, but his term was up. State Senator Kirk Schuring was the lead negotiator behind HB29.
With this bill, both online and retail sports betting were legalized. Now, some of the finer details still need to be established through the regulation process. As mentioned, the Ohio Casino Control Commission has been designated as the regulatory body that oversees sports betting.
At one time, 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 has been established, it gives regulators the chance 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 now appears that an end to this extended process is finally in sight. There was plenty of progress made during 2020 and a bill was finally passed in 2021. This paves the way for legalizing sports betting towards the end of 2022. A “universal” date for launch has been set for Jan. 1, 2023 as the latest possible date allowed by law.
When OH sports betting is launched, both retail and online sportsbooks will be available. The number of options has been set, but actual regulations have not been confirmed at this time. 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. This state could also be a model for innovation with the inclusion of esports.
Going live in late 2022 remains a possibility, but it appears that Jan. 1, 2023 will be the actual launch of legal sports betting in Ohio.