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As Ohio continues to manage all the regulatory and physical details of its upcoming sports betting market launch, some industry insiders are licking their chops at the potential multi-billion-dollar handle the Buckeye State could generate, with predictions ranging in size.
Some state lawmakers and insiders had initially projected Ohio’s eventual gambling production to generate $3.35 billion in total bets, called a ‘handle,’ but now other experts like Eric Ramsey, lead market analyst for the PlayUSA Network, are expecting even more.
Ramsey likes the way Ohio is setting up its sports betting market and expects it to generate $12 billion in yearly bets, almost four times the amount previously anticipated, a sign that Ohio bettors are hungry to place wagers without having to break the law or travel to do it.
Until Ohio’s sports gambling market launches, resident gamblers will continue to take their lucrative action elsewhere, either by using unregulated offshore sportsbooks, local illicit bookies, or by driving to Indiana, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania where that activity has already been made legal.
What Ramsey and other industry leaders like about Ohio’s approach to this new market is how state lawmakers have borrowed ideas from other successful examples.
So far, the Birthplace of Aviation appears to be using a best-of approach to its new sports betting market – and why not?
Over thirty other states have launched their sports betting market already with various degrees of success and failure to show for it, all there for Ohio lawmakers and insiders to study and learn from like watching somebody else attempt the same industry-putt first.
For example, Ohio is offering a wide selection of licenses that will accommodate online and retail operators from popular sportsbook apps like DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel to pro sports teams, casinos, and racetracks as well as bar owners who would have gambling kiosks.
Ramsey sees that level of variety as smart, saying:
“Every operator you can think of is going to look for a license in Ohio. It’s easier to obtain a license as a smaller company, a smaller operator in Ohio, which is good for everybody. That’s good for the customer, good for the industry. It drives things forward. Innovation is always great.”
Ohio will also spread the retail licenses they will make available to locations across the state to accommodate as many Buckeye gamblers as possible, a state that plays host to professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and rugby union.
There is a built-in deadline for Ohio’s sports betting market to launch.
According to the amended HB 29 that passed in Ohio’s House and Senate last December and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine shortly thereafter, the market must be up and running by no later than January 1, 2023.
That means that the Ohio Casino Control Commission should begin taking license applications in late summer and sports bettors there might be able to place wagers on the NFL postseason (or earlier), a goal essential to hitting that projected $3 – $12 billion handle.
Keep checking back for the latest news and updates on the unfolding story in Ohio.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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