Sports betting in Ohio is legal, but it isn’t operational at the moment. Daily fantasy sports have been legal since 2018 and have proven to be a great option for people who want to wager before the state establishes a sports betting market.
Ohio Needs to Establish a Regulatory Framework
When Ohio establishes a sports betting market, bettors across the state most likely won’t have many sportsbook options to choose from, according to the state’s top gaming regulator. Ohio Casino Control Commission executive director, Matt Schuler, stated, the same half dozen sportsbook operators control 90 percent of the market in other jurisdictions.
The executive director said he doesn’t envision Ohio having the dozens of sportsbooks allowed under the law. Just last year, Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation into law that would legalize brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and mobile wagering with the use of mobile devices and computers.
Sports betting in Ohio will be ready by March Madness next year. State officials and regulators are working on checking off the list that revolves around important tasks like establishing rules and regulations and working on accepting and giving out approved licenses to sportsbook operators that will eventually conduct business in the state.
The law requires sports betting to begin no later than Jan. 1, 2023. Supporters hope for the market to launch sooner so bettors can place wagers during the start of football season.
How Many Sportsbook Could Enter the State if Wanted
Ohio could have up to 50 mobile sportsbooks and 40 land-based betting sites. The gaming facilities’ ticket windows can be located at four casinos, seven racinos, and ten professional venues across the state, according to the commission report.
Betting kiosks are also available in bars and restaurants that have liquor licenses. He went on to say;
“The same five or six dominate the market, with the rest “trying to get some fraction of a percent.”
In some states in the sports betting industry, states have a high barrier of entry or below the total that is permitted. One example is Louisiana, as Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law last year allowing up to 41 mobile skins to operate in the state. The Bayou State is far below the total, with only seven online platforms accepting wagers so far.
In New York, nine sportsbook operators received approved licenses when the market launched. BallyBet, the ninth operator, should launch soon, as eight are accepting wagers so far.
Discussions are going around that the Empire State is looking to add more operators as a key senator will consider it if adding more operators doesn’t negatively affect what the state could collect to fund education and youth sports.
The Neighboring States that Border Ohio Are Making Strides
Out of the five states that border Ohio, only Kentucky doesn’t have an established sports betting market. Kentucky is pushing for sports betting to be placed within its border as the state is missing out on taxes that could be used to help the people that reside in the state.
Ohio could most likely thrive if the market finally established because the state is home to many professional teams. The state boasts having professional sports franchises in multiple leagues.
Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. The Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds in the MLB. The Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL.
This doesn’t include some collegiate programs like the Ohio State Buckeyes.