It may not be here quite yet, but Ohio sports betting should be up and running by 1st January 20023 under the amended House Bill 29 that passed the legislative chambers in December 2021. Now, the Ohio Casino Control Commission needs to draw up the regulations that will govern this brand new legalized sports betting market.
Initially, it will be racinos, casinos and sports teams that will be prioritized for mobile sports betting licenses. All of these will receive one license – and possibly a second if they can evidence that it will benefit Ohio financially.
In addition, this new sports betting legislation would also require the conversion of lottery kiosks that would allow for limited sports betting at places such as bars, restaurants and grocery stores.
This has been a long time coming – legal sports betting in Ohio was almost a reality in 2020. However, the Senate proposed too many changes – and there wasn’t enough time to get it all done. There was a repeated attempt in the summer of 2021, to address online and retail sports betting, but again, failed to make it that far. Here’s where Ohio sports betting stands right now.
Ohio Sports Betting 2022
- 19th January 2022: The Indiana-Ohio border is still well in use as punters still need to pass state borders to make bets on the Cincinnati Bengals who played in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
- 25th January 2022: There are two sets of rules open for public comment from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. One of which caps mobile operators at four partnerships in the state.
- 31st January 2022: A third batch of rules became available for comment that focused on Type C licenses and its voluntary exclusion program.
- 8th February 2022: It was announced that Fubo Gaming will partner with the Cleveland Cavaliers as their official mobile sports betting partner. Part of this deal includes a 3,000 square foot sports lounge at the team’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
- 17th February 2022: The state looks as though it missed out on a lot of revenue from sports bettors after the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the LA Rams in Super Bowl LVI
- 1st March 2022: The second round of public input around Type C licenses and Ohio’s responsible gambling program opened up until March 11.
- 14th March 2022: A fourth batch of rules regarding house rules and license specific duties was released by the Casino Control Commission for another round of public comments.
Sports Betting: Legal in Ohio Soon
Currently, sports betting is legal in Ohio although there are not any sportsbooks that have been launched yet. Sports betting bill HB 29 passed in December 2021. This law calls for the launch of sportsbooks and Ohio sports betting apps to launch on or before the 1st of January 2023.
When Will Sports Betting Launch Officially in Ohio?
The state law confirms that the aim is to officially launch by the 1st of January, 2023. This has been designated as the deadline for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to launch it in the state. 2022 is going to be spent preparing and managing the new sports betting industry. The legalize sports betting bill will ensure that everything is prepared before the actual launch.
Sports Betting Apps Expected in Ohio
The new bill allows for up to 25 OH online sportsbooks at launch. Any casino and sports team with a license can then apply for a second skin if they can prove that it will be a financial benefit to Ohio. Right now, we cannot be certain what top sports betting apps will come to the state, but here are the most likely contenders.
DraftKings has been present in Ohio for some while – as a major Daily Fantasy Sports provider. This is normally the first sportsbook to launch after legalization. Although its partnership with Kambi came to an end in September 2021, it looks likely to find an Ohio-based partner when it is finally launched in the state.
Like DraftKings, FanDuel already has a presence in Ohio as a DFS provider. FanDuel is well known for striking partnership deals and, as required by the proposed sports betting rules, they will have a number of viable candidates to choose from.
BetMGM is the sports betting division of MGM Resorts International – one of the biggest casino operators across the globe. It has a property in Ohio – MGM Northfield Park, which means that it can apply for a license in the state.
Caesars Sportsbook has grown massively in recent years, having merged with names such as William Hill and Eldorado Resorts. Because of its deal with Eldorado, it now owns Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs which means that there is the option to move forward with sports betting in the state.
This isn’t one of the biggest names in the US, but it owns and operates 2 properties in North Randall and Cleveland. It has been based in Ohio since 2009 and although it has no relevant sports betting experience, it is partnered with Kambi, which means it could be a possibility. This is definitely one to look out for.
Other Ohio Sports Betting App Possibilities
Because the new Ohio sports betting law allows for up to 25 sports gambling apps, there is plenty of availability. Out of the 25 available, 21 will be allocated to the 10 sports teams and 11 state casinos. This means there is room for more sportsbooks to come to Ohio – these might include:
- Bally Bet
- Fox Bet
- Golden Nugget
The New Ohio Sports Betting Bill
IIn actuality, HB 29, the new sports betting bill wasn’t actually originally about sports betting. It was pertaining to the issuance of veteran ID cards in the state. However, because of its long list of amendments, it enables legislation for sports betting in the state.
It was Senator Kirk Schuring that added these amendments after it became clear that his original SB 176 wouldn’t be heard in the House of Representatives before the summer recess of 2021. So, he simply took the infrastructure of the bill and transferred it to HB 29. All of the main elements of SB 176, including the licensing framework as outlined below – and then became the accepted state sports betting law but with a few amendments.
Here are the main points surrounding Ohio online sports betting as per the amended HB 29
- There will be 25 Type A mobile licenses. Only sports teams or casinos that have a license can apply for a second skin. They will need to demonstrate that it would benefit the state economically.
- There will also be 40 Type B retail licenses. These will include strict location requirements. Sportsbooks will not be permitted in any county that has less than 50,000 residents. If the country has between 50,000 and 99,999 residents plus they can prove that they have over 5 million tourists per year they can qualify for one. If the country has between 100,000 and 399,999 residents and doesn’t have a lottery retailer sportsbooks, they are also permitted one. A county with between 400,000 and 799,999 residents can qualify for three and any county with over 800,000 residents can qualify for five. preference will also be given to professional leagues and teams for retail licenses.
- All sports betting revenue will have a 10% tax bracket, with 2% of that allocated to problem gambling help.
In general, this has the potential for a much better legal betting market than last year’s bill – HB 194, which proposed only one online skin for the state’s casinos and racinos as well as a slightly lower tax rate set at 8%.
The Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Ohio
It may not be a state of champions, but Ohio has a very long history in pro league sports, with at least one team in each of the major leagues. Most sports fans in the state follow either the Cincinnati teams or the Cleveland professional sports teams.
The state of Ohio boasts the Cleveland Browns – but despite having been in the NFL for many years, they have never won a Super Bowl.
Their last NFL championship was back in 1964 before the Super Bowl was created. The team that was previously the Cleveland Browns won two Super Bowls after they relocated to Baltimore and became the Ravens in 1995. They started anew in 1999 and have only ever made the playoffs once since then.
The other state team is the Cincinnati Bengals – who have also never won a Super Bowl. Up until 2019, they were the worst team in the NFL – but after getting first draft pick in the following season, hopes are high.
It was superstar LeBron James that put the Cleveland Cavaliers on the map, helping them to win the 2016 NBA title. Since he left, they went into transition and are still rebuilding.
The state has a combined total of over 200 years of history in Major League Baseball. Many even consider this the birthplace of pro baseball. In fact, in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team – and ended the season with the perfect 57-0.
There is also the Cincinnati Reds team that became a charter member of the National League in 1876. However, they were booted out of the league after four years for refusing to allow beer to be sold at their games. The Cincinnati Reds as we now know them were formed in 1881 and have won a total of five World Series, the last being in 1990.
Those fans of the Cleveland Indians don’t quite enjoy as much success – as they haven’t won a World Series in over 72 years. They almost broke that losing streak for three years, between 2016 and 2018 where they fell at the last hurdle – even going up 3-1 in the 2016 World Series. Having players such as Mike Clevinger and Francisco Lindor, the Indians are now in a real position to compete.
The city with ‘technically’ the largest population in the state is Columbus. However, it is home to just one major professional sports team – the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. This team is one of the newer professional sports teams, having been founded in 2000. They haven’t yet won the Stanley Cup but they managed their first playoff series win in 2019.
Although fans of professional sports teams tend to be split into regions, most residents of Ohio are in agreement when it comes to NCAA football – routing for The Ohio State. This is considered one of the most prestigious football programs in the country and the state team, founded in 1890 has won eight national championships. This includes the first College Football Playoff National Championship in 2014.
Then there is also the Cincinnati Bearcats, who have also enjoyed some success in football recently – with 11 consecutive winning seasons.
In terms of NCAA basketball, the state hasn’t enjoyed quite as much success. They have had 11 Final Four appearances – plus an NCAA Tournament Title back in 1960. They also have an active streak of nine NCAA Tournament appearances in a row.
There is also the Xavier Musketeers. This team generally makes the tournament practically every year. However, they haven’t made it to the Final Four yet.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Ohio
Unlike sports betting, Ohio legalized daily fantasy sports betting back in 2018. This is officially licensed with the state, which has set a $10,000 maximum annual licensing fee and has installed zero tax on operators.
Despite the fact that Ohio has been debating sports betting for a long time, the Ohio Casino Control Commission was granted control over DFS practically overnight.
As such, there are several major Daily Fantasy Sites including FanDuel, DraftKings, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo! that operate legally in Ohio.
Horse Racing in Ohio
Horse racing was legalized in Ohio and the Ohio State Racing Commission was created in 1933 after new legislation approved parimutuel betting on horse racing.
Horse racing events operate throughout the year in Ohio, with thoroughbred racing tracks in Cincinnati, Youngstown and Cleveland. In addition, Quarter horse races and harness racing is also legal in the state.
In fact, seven out of the 11 casinos in the state are racinos that are located on tracks that offer live horse racing.
Ohio punters can already legally bet on horse racing online through sites including TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG.Ohio Sports Betting Timeline Pre 2022
After numerous delays, after its ninth hearing, the House Finance Committee eventually advanced an Ohio sports betting bill. That bill was just one day later, before the summer recess.
Rep. Dave Greenspan stated that he intended to contact Senate sponsor Sen. John Eklund to discuss the differences between their two bills over the summer period with the aim of entering the fall session ready to pass the bill.
One of the major differences between the two bills was the rate of tax – Senate 6.25% and House 10%. The House bill would also allow fraternal organizations and veterans to have sports betting, whilst the Senate Bill would limit it purely to racinos and casinos. In addition, in the House Bill, all proceeds from sports betting would go towards education, whilst the Senate Bill would place the money in the general fund.
However, neither one of these bills made it past the 2020 legislative session. They both attempted to pass the bill through the senate in the days following the November 220 election but didn’t muster enough votes.
This year saw new legislators – such as Sen. Kirk Schuring taking up the cause of an OH sports betting bill – and the process essentially went right back to the beginning again.
He introduced his other sports betting bill in May 2021, SB 176 – and this passed through the Senate after around one month of discussions, but again, this stalled after reaching the House.
It occurred to Schuring that the chance of the new bill being heard in the House before the summer recess that year was low, so he took the meat from the bones of that bill and transferred them onto the unrelated bill HB 29 – that had a better chance of progressing.
After a number of months spent debating, this bill passed the House and Senate, including numerous amendments put into place allowing for sports betting. Although there were a few changes from the initial vision, it was signed through by DeWine in December.
Ohio Sports Betting FAQs
Who Regulates Legal Sports Betting in Ohio?
All gambling in the state of Ohio is (or will be) overseen by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. They will regulate and manage the developing legal sports betting market.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Ohio?
Yes, the 2021 law that was passed permits both retail sports betting and legal online sports betting with remote registration allowed.
Are Offshore Sports Betting Sites Legal in Ohio
No, you will need to wait for official sports betting sites to launch after the December 2021 online sports betting legalization. Any sports betting site that claims to take sports bets from residents anywhere in the US is not operating legally. These offer no protection to punters who choose to use them to make bets. You should only ever bet at a US sports betting site that has been licensed by Ohio state.