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The Countdown to Legal Sports Betting in Ohio Has Begun

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated December 29, 2022
8 min read
  • Legal Sports Betting in Ohio is Required by Law to Begin January 1, 2023

  • Sports Betting Tax Revenue Earmarked for the Purpose of Funding Educational Needs

  • Ohio’s Betting Market Joins 30+ U.S. States Including Four Neighboring States

Ohio Legal Sports Betting Countdown

The Cleveland Browns may be eliminated from the NFL’s upcoming playoffs, but that does not mean Ohio sports bettors have nothing to look forward to this winter since their legal sports gambling market is set to launch at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 and the countdown has begun.

It is an exciting time for Buckeye bettors and even more so for state lawmakers and industry insiders who have been working on legalizing, regulating, and launching a sports betting market there ever since it was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine on December 22, 2021.

Built into that law is a stipulation that the sports betting market must launch by the new year or face stiff penalties, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission has done its best to stick to that deadline, and all signs are pointing to that first Buckeye bet happening at the stroke of midnight.

In fact, at Cincinnati’s Hard Rock Casino, the plan as we have already reported is for Banned MLB Legend and Gambler Pete Rose to Place First Legal Sports Bet in Ohio, a move that some haters found inappropriate while others are looking forward to witnessing that one-time event.

It will be the start of a new income stream for Ohioans who are used to seeing gambling money exit the state via illegal bookies and unregulated (and untaxed) offshore sportsbooks, this new market a shift in the opposite direction.

Sports Betting Tax Revenue Earmarked For the Purpose of Funding Educational Needs

There is no telling how much tax revenue this new legal sports betting market in Ohio will generate, but whatever money is raised will be reinvested in projects that benefit residents, and according to the Revised Code section 5753.021, a 10% tax will be levied on sports gaming.

That tax revenue, according to that law, will go "for the purpose of funding the education needs of this state,” and then it breaks down the areas where that funding will be applied:

·       Funding interscholastic athletics

·       Funding other extracurricular activities for youth

·       Funding efforts to alleviate problem sports gaming

·       Defraying the costs of enforcing and administering the law governing sports gaming

As the OH sports betting market matures the amount of tax revenue it produces will grow, with potentially millions of new dollars going towards projects that might have in the past gotten ignored or delayed due to a lack of funding and priority, now getting the attention they deserve.

It’s the same fiscal recipe that is already working in plenty of other U.S. states.

Ohio’s Betting Market Joins 30+ U.S. States Including Four Neighboring States

Ohio is late to the sports betting party that technically started in May 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA and gave each state the right to legalize, regulate, and tax its own sports betting market, something over thirty states and counting have already done.

That includes some of Ohio’s closest neighbors – Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – all states with some form of legal sports betting now, most offering either retail or mobile options, with many offering both.

Ohio is known for its rabid sports fans – they love the NFLs Bengals and Browns and the MLB’s Reds and Guardians and the NBA’s Cavaliers - and now starting on Sunday those who bet can legally put money on their favorite teams and players, a happy new year indeed.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

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]

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