Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced that he expects his state to legalize sports betting at some point in 2021. A similar position was also taken in 2020, but there seems more support behind legislation at this point in time.
Republican Senator Kirk Schuring is currently the chair of the Select Committee on Gaming, and that seven-person group will be working to iron out all of the sports betting details. 2020 saw a number of sports betting bills introduced, but none of those were able to advance through the Senate.
Sports betting operators are already positioning themselves for a potential 2021 launch, and WynnBET recently announced a partnership that would give it access. An official bill will have to be approved in both chambers of the state legislature, but the state is looking for new revenue sources, and that should allow these bills to gain support.
Potential Rules and Regulations
One thing is clear, and that is that the Ohio Casino Control Commission will be put in charge of overseeing and regulating the sports betting industry. Some lawmakers wanted the Ohio Lottery in charge of sports betting, but that is no longer a battle.
An eight percent tax rate is expected to be applied to all sports betting revenue, which would be one of the lowest in the US. The licensing fee would be just $100,000 for five years, which is another move that should attract some top sports betting operators.
Additional fees could be added to the final bill, but Ohio lawmakers want to create favorable laws to help the market grow quickly. Final sports betting rules will also be determined at a later date, but betting on in-state college events will likely be included.
Teams to Drive Sports Betting
When sports betting does launch in the state of Ohio, there will be no shortage of teams to drive sports betting. The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are the two NFL teams in Ohio, and both should bring in some huge betting action.
Outside of the NFL, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Reds, and Cleveland Indians will also help push sports betting at the professional level. Betting on college sports is expected to be included in any legislation, and that means that the Ohio State Buckeyes will be offered by sportsbooks in Ohio.
Ohio Surrounded By Sports Betting
The delay in passing a sports betting bill in recent years has Ohio well behind in that part of the country. Several bordering states to Ohio have all legalized and launched sports betting, and that will make it hard for the state to keep up.
Pennsylvania to the East has emerged as the third-largest sports betting market in the United States, and it continues to set new marks in terms of revenue and betting handle. Indiana to the west has been a leader in the Midwest, especially when it comes to online betting.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Ohio will come from the state of Michigan after it recently launched an entire iGaming suite. The sports betting market in Ohio will be there, but a continued delay in launch could have huge financial ramifications.