Sports betting is sweeping the nation, and now Ohio has joined the list of legal jurisdictions.
Governor DeWine’s signature made sports betting legal in the state, but this does not mean bets will be placed any time soon. There are still a few steps that must occur before sports betting is legalized.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission must set the rules and regulations for the sports betting industry in the state, and there is no timeline for how long this process will take. Yet, sports betting cannot begin any later than January 1, 2023.
Nevertheless, according to Senate Majority Leader Kirk Schuring, it could begin earlier than January 1, 2023, if everything falls into place. Ideally, sports betting will begin in Ohio before the 2022 football season.
Bipartisan Support for Sports Betting
The sports betting legislative process took years to institute in Ohio, and a big reason for this was disagreements between Republicans and Democrats. The reason sports betting passed through House Bill 29 was that it included a stipulation regarding veteran IDs.
Republicans and Democrats were able to get on the same page, and a big reason for this was the added veteran ID feature. Sports betting can be taken at retail locations and through mobile devices.
Wagering will also be legal through kiosks at restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and liquor stores. According to Schuring, there will be many licenses in the states.
He said, “It will allow Ohio’s casinos, racinos, and Ohio’s ten sports franchises to contract with an online mobile app provider, like FanDuel and DraftKings. It also will allow for (brick-and-mortar sportsbooks) that can contract with an online mobile app provider to do sports gaming within their facility. The kiosks won’t start before the online mobile apps. The sportsbooks won’t start before the kiosks and so on and so forth.”
In some legal sports betting states, retail or mobile sports betting may get a head start depending on the legislation. It’s easier to launch retail sportsbooks rather than mobile books, but neither will have an advantage in Ohio.
No entity can begin sports betting before the whole market is ready to go live. Ohio sports betting is now legal, but it’s in a waiting period. Florida and Nebraska are the two other states in this waiting period following legalization.
Sports betting is now legal in Washington D.C. and 30 other states. Ohio joins neighboring states like Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia that offer legal sports wagering. Sports betting is expected to be very popular in the state, with approximately 12 million residents.
The state also has a professional sports team in every major league and multiple D1 colleges. The largest is The Ohio State University, but it’s unknown if college betting will be legal. Most states allow college sports betting on programs outside of the state.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will make the rules around collegiate sports betting, taxes, and licensing. There is still a long wait for betting, but the most challenging part of the legislative process is complete.