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Ohio sports betting was expected to be legalized at some point in 2020, but things fell apart at the end of the year. Lawmakers will once again try to pass a bill in 2021, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
There are actually two sports betting bills being 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. It is expected that Ohio sports betting will launch at some point in 2021, but that date could be pushed back again.
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 casinos currently in operation in Ohio, 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.
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, but nothing will be official until a law is passed. Remote registration would allow bettors to sign up for a sports betting account without having to step foot inside of a retail sportsbook.
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OH Sports Betting Rules
Without an 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. Discussion of esports has not yet been brought up in any sports betting legislation, but that will have to be decided before anything is official.
OH Sports Betting Regulations
There are actually two sports 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, and it will likely be the one that is focused on in 2021.
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 2021.
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 that legalizing sports betting in 2021 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.