Governor Mike DeWine has signed sports betting into law. HB 29 went to the DeWine’s desk December 8, along with several other bills he signed during a signing ceremony on Wednesday. Under Ohio’s sports betting legislation, bettors will be able to wager on professional leagues, college sports, and esports.
HB 29 requires sports betting to launch by January 1, 2023. According to cincinnati.com, the Ohio Casino Control Commission expects to begin awarding licenses in mid-2022. Bettors can expect sportsbooks to go live in late 2022.
Analysts not only expect Ohio sports betting to generate tax revenue for education initiatives but also to patch revenue leaks from the state’s residents crossing the border to bet in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Ohio will be able to recapture some of that lost revenue when sports betting goes live.
Surrounded by competitive sports betting jurisdictions, Ohio is set to become a major market itself. The Ohio Legislative Services Commission estimated a mature sports betting industry in the state to generate $3.35 billion in annual handle. That’s a lot of betting that operators haven’t been able to profit from and Ohio hasn’t been able to tax. The Ohio Legislative Services Commission estimates $7 million in tax revenue from the state’s first year of sports betting and $24 million in a mature market.
What’s Next For Ohio?
It’ll take several months for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to write the rules governing Ohio’s sports betting industry. It must set licensing requirements, so mid-summer applications and early winter sportsbook launches are reasonable expectations.
Ohio it’s a sports-rich state on both the collegiate and professional levels. The Ohio State Buckeyes are among popular college athletic programs with rabid local fanbases, and the state is represented in all four major pro leagues — the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL, Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds in MLB, Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, and Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL.
When sports betting goes live, Ohio will be one of the more interesting emerging markets to watch. It faces inter-state competition from major markets like Michigan, and Ohio’s ability to retain sports betting revenue will be tested as its industry grows.