Big things seem to be happening in Ohio this week, and this not only refers to several of their professional and collegiate teams performing spectacularly so far. After months of negotiations, the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate have passed a bill to legalize sports betting within the state. On Wednesday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine approved the bill.
Earlier this year, DeWine had already expressed that the legalization of sports betting in Ohio was inevitable. “Sports gaming’s already in Ohio; Ohio’s just not regulating it. This is something that I think is inevitable. It’s coming to Ohio. The members of the general assembly are working on that process. I will have the opportunity to see what they came up with. I will have the opportunity to weigh in at the appropriate time, but sports gaming is certainly coming to Ohio.”
The highly anticipated Ohio sportsbooks launch date is set at 12:01 AM on January 1, 2023, and many sportsbooks are already offering bonuses and promotions for pre-registration. All major US sportsbooks will be available in Ohio in the new year. Since Ohio has placed light taxation on these bookmakers, compared to its fellow states, many sportsbook operators are anxious to participate in this new market.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) recently published an Event and Wager catalog that details the nature of bets Ohio will allow and not allow. It prohibits bets on “coin flips or other random determinations,” and accepts bets “based on the result of an outcome on the field of play (including the virtual field of play for eSports).” It also allows bets only on “events sanctioned by a sports governing body approved by the commission.” Sports within Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA all made the cut.
Geoff Zochodne from Covers.com commented on the availability of the leagues to be offered upon the launch. “The catalog is pretty comprehensive. I think the comment made by the director of the Casino Control Commission is that they think that they have basically 95% of all the leagues covered that people will probably want to bet on anyway.”
A few notable sportsbooks include (but are not limited to) DraftKings, FanDuel, Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, Tipico, and Barstool Sportsbook. Many others are looking to enter the market later in the year as the OCCC has approved over 40 retail and online betting licenses. All are very reliable and have been active for years.
DraftKings will offer a variety of bets, but many of the apps offer more than just betting. Fanduel finances content for viewing within the app itself, such as the Up and Adams Show, and Caesars also allows live streaming of select NFL matches.
As the time for launch day grows closer, many of the sportsbooks are offering bonuses and promotion codes in an effort to get ahead of their competitors and gain more users. Most have signup or welcome bonuses in the form of betting credits. Others are even offering chances to win tickets to upcoming games or league passes upon early registration. Of course, this will only remain active till the 31st of December this year.
Ohio will be the 33rd U.S. jurisdiction to allow betting on sports. However, according to the WCPO, since Ohio will not be authorizing certain types of wagers, they may not fully capitalize on their potential financial returns. One such wager is one involving table tennis. The state of Colorado was able to generate $63.5 million in 2020 alone.
“The popularity of the sport really grew in some circles during the pandemic when there weren’t a lot of sports being played and so people went looking for alternative sports to bet,” Zochodne said.
Although Colorado is currently one of the states with the most diverse betting catalog, it still agrees with Ohio in prohibiting coin toss bets. These wagers are banned because they are “determined prior to the performance of the athletes in the event.” FanDuel vice president Jeff Lowich explained: “Those are fun bets that people just like to throw a couple of bucks on. I don’t think it has a major impact on Ohio revenue. “
He did admit that Ohio’s betting catalogue is large enough to accommodate more than enough of the bets made on FanDuel in other states.
“There are other states that don’t allow customers to wager on college teams in that particular state,” he added. There are other states that don’t allow college teams playing in that particular state, even if they’re not from that state, to be wagered upon. But Ohio has allowed that and we’re looking to be able to offer those types of wagers.”
All things considered, next year looks to be quite promising for Ohio sports fans, and assuredly, New Years’ Day cannot arrive soon enough