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Here’s a question a lot of Ohio sports bettors must be asking right now: if sports betting is legal in the Buckeye State, then why can’t residents gamble on games yet?
There is not a simple answer to that question except to say that Ohio is stuck in that place between passing sports betting legislation into law and having that new market regulated, set up, and tested, a purgatory that thirty other states have endured before ever taking their first bet.
Fortunately for bettors, state officials have set a deadline of January 1, 2023, for Ohio, sports betting apps to launch, so there is an end game insight and it will be a welcome sight for gamblers who have been forced to patiently wait for legal betting action.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is ultimately in charge of this rollout, and their Communications Director Jessica Franks had this to say about the delay:
It was an intentional choice to make sure we have time to implement the law the way it’s meant to be done. The Commission is currently in the process of drafting all of the various rules and applications.
Meanwhile, Ohio punters are free to continue using unregulated offshore sportsbooks, and local illegal bookies or they can simply get in their vehicles and drive to either Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, or Michigan where that activity has already been made legal.
Keep in mind, that it’s only been a few months since any of this has been possible.
Ohio started down the path toward legal sports betting in the middle of last year and by December Governor Mike DeWine was able to sign that legislation – HB 29 – into law as is permitted ever since the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA back in 2018.
Of course, it would have been financially beneficial had it all gotten done earlier given that one of the state’s two NFL teams, the Cincinnati Bengals, made it all the way to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988, a missed chance to run up the state’s betting total betting handle.
There are plenty of pro sports teams in Ohio with all the major leagues represented including the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, and NHL, creating a mishmash of fans who are all anxious to put money down on their favorite players and teams.
In Ohio, they will be able to do that online.
Some states only let residents bet in person at casinos and racinos but in Ohio, residents will be able to place wagers from the comfort of their own couches, with sports betting apps now vying for space in that market including a lot of the more popular sportsbooks getting the nod.
More news on Ohio’s journey towards legal sports betting will continue to emerge so keep checking back for updates.
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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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