An agreement has been reached between Ohio lawmakers to allow sports betting as early as April 1, 2022. Governor Mike DeWine is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
Ohio will now be the 34th state – in addition to the District of Columbia – to allow sports betting.
Indeed, it was the siphoning of potential customers (and tax revenue) to neighboring states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia, where gambling is already legal, which in part prompted the Ohio legislature to make a move in favor of legalized betting.
Under the new law, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) will regulate the activity and be tasked with establishing a licensing process, design consumer protections, set forth advertising guidelines, and put financial requirements in place. If there are other rules that in time are deemed necessary to put into place, it will be the remit of OCCC to do so.
The state will start accepting license applications on January 1, 2022, and a limited number of licenses are expecting to be issued on April 1.
As far as benefit to state coffers, a 10% tax will be placed on sports betting revenue, with the money due to go toward K-12 education and programs addressing problem gambling.
Ohio allowing legalized betting will be a significant boon to the industry overall. Ohio is well-known for its ardent and fanatical sports fans and, in addition to NCAA powerhouse Ohio State University, there is a wealth of professional sports teams that Ohioans will be rearing to bet on: the Cleveland Guardians, the Cleaveland Browns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cincinatti Bengals, the Cincinatti Reds, FC Cincinatti, Columbus Crew, and the Columbus Blue Jackets.