When you think of Ohio, what comes to mind? Maybe your mind goes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe it’s Lebron James and the Cavs. Maybe you go further back to Pete Rose and the dominance of the Big Red Machine in the 70s. How about the Cleveland Browns and the (AFC Champion) Cincinnati Bengals? THE Ohio State University? Skyline Chili?
Do you ever think of sports betting? Is sports betting legal in Ohio, and if so, how can you find out how to bet on sports in Ohio?
Well, while you probably haven’t thought of sports betting before, you may in the future. Sports betting is legal in the state of Ohio…kind of. Let’s take a look at the current laws regarding sports betting in Ohio and go over how they affect your ability to place bets today and into the future.
Can I Bet on Sports in Ohio?
Good news—as of December 2021, when Governor Mike DeWine officially signed House Bill 29, the Ohio sports betting bill, into law, allowing sports betting to be legal in the state of Ohio.
But hold your horses—you can’t actually place any sport bets…yet.
So what’s going on? To put it as simply as possible, the new law makes sports betting and online gambling legal in Ohio, but the industry still needs to be built. That means the Ohio Casino Control Commission will need to grant businesses a license before they can start taking bets. There are three types of licenses available:
- Type A – This is the type of license that will affect online sports betting on sites and mobile apps. These licenses will be issued to casinos, racinos, and businesses operating in Ohio (including the sports teams that call Ohio home). For national brands like DraftKings and FanDuel, this means they will need to partner with one of these businesses before they are allowed to take daily fantasy sports bets through a sports betting site in Ohio.
All eight of Ohio’s professional teams will likely apply for (and receive) licenses. It’s also a safe bet that Nascar and the PGA will acquire licenses under the new law. Of course, at Tipico, we already have this covered. We’ve partnered with the Columbus Crew so we’ll be ready to take your bets as soon as Ohio online sports betting becomes available.
- Type B – Just because we live in an online world doesn’t mean you don’t still have the option to go and place your bets in person. This type of license will be for physical locations in Ohio where you can place your bets.
- Type C – The final license type is for businesses that will work with bars and restaurants to take bets and regulate lottery kiosk machines.
When Can I Start Betting?
How long does it take to build an industry? Well, while some people are optimistic that betting may begin in the second half of 2022, the most likely scenario is that the entirety of this year will be spent on logistics. That sets the likely start of betting to begin on January 1, 2023.
As for when each Ohio sports betting site will go live, that will come down to how quickly people are able to secure partnerships and become licensed to take a sports bet in Ohio. You can safely assume that all the major players will be looking to create partnerships and get into the Ohio sports wagering business.
The Road to Legal Sports Betting
So, what is it that legalized sports betting in Ohio anyway? Before going into the specific bill legalizing gambling, it’s worth touching on why it was illegal to begin with. For that, we need to look no further than the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Things to know about PASPA:
- It was signed into law by George H.W. Bush in 1992 and has been in effect since 1993.
- It prohibited states from regulating sports betting and taxing it (effectively making sports betting illegal). An exception was the state of Nevada where there was already an infrastructure in place for sports gambling (what happens in Vegas…). There were also limited exceptions for Oregon, Delaware, and Montana.
- The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, ruled PASPA unconstitutional in 2018. The majority opinion was represented by justices Alito, Roberts, Gorsuch, Kagan, Kennedy, and Thomas. The dissenting opinion was held by Ginsburg and Sotomayor, with justice Breyer joining their dissent in part (he also partly supported the majority though did not vote with them).
The Supreme Court’s decision put the ball into the hands of the individual states as to whether (and how) they will allow sports wagering and betting. In Ohio, that decision came in the form of House Bill 29.
House Bill 29
What is Ohio House Bill 29? Well, its short title purpose is to “permit certain persons to obtain Ohio veterans ID card.”
That doesn’t sound like anything to do with sports betting does it? But, as is often the case with legislation, one bill can accomplish many things and this 110-page bill is no exception. However, simply by looking at its long title, you’ll find this:
“and to repeal section 3772.28 of the Revised Code to legalize and regulate sports gaming in this state, to levy a tax on businesses that provide sports gaming, and to make other changes to the Gambling Law.”
To put that in plain English, this bill legalizes gambling and sets up a system to tax it in the state of Ohio. Some other things worth noting about HB29:
- It’s Bipartisan – The bill’s two primary sponsors are Republican Scott Wiggam and Democrat Adam C. Miller.
- It had a long road – This bill didn’t just sail through the Ohio legislature. First introduced in February of 2021 it shuffled between the Ohio house and the Ohio senate multiple times before the current version was agreed upon 10 months after the bill’s first introduction.
- It’s popular now – That being said, the current version of the bill passed the house on a 72-13 vote and passed the senate 31-1. It was then signed by the governor with an effective date of March 23, 2022.
Following the Money
What is it that made this such a popular proposition for the politicians of Ohio? Are they just rabid sports fans who want to get in on the action?
While we can’t speak for individual politicians' fandom or gaming predilections, one thing that certainly helped sway the vote toward legalization is the money it can generate for Ohio. Some estimates see the Ohio sports betting market to be able to generate up to one billion dollars. That means a lot of potential tax revenue. And where will that money be going:
- Net revenue from sports betting will be taxed at a 10% rate.
- Of these taxes, 98% has been set to be invested into the public and private schools of Ohio, specifically K-12.
- The 2% that is not going to schools is set to be used for assistance for problem gamblers.
- In addition to tax revenue, application fees are expected to raise multiple millions of dollars for the state.
- Of this money, .5% is set to be used in programs to help veterans and their families.
Of course, what the final figures are and how the money is actually allocated are still yet to be seen. No matter how you look at it, though, sports betting is set to generate a good deal of revenue for the state of Ohio, which is one reason it’s a popular idea with state politicians.
What Does This Mean for You?
For those of us less interested in civics and more interested in next year’s futures bets, what does all this mean? While no one can say for sure exactly when the sports betting infrastructure in Ohio will be up-and-running, you’ve probably still got a bit of a wait. Your current sports betting options are limited to daily fantasy or placing your bets in a neighboring state where sports betting is already allowed. These include options in:
- West Virginia
But take heart! Legal sports betting is on the way and will be here before you know it. In the meantime, whether you enjoy horse racing or fantasy sports, it’s time to work on your betting strategies so you’re ready to jump in on the action as soon as the systems in Ohio are in place to allow you to start betting. Searching for the right online sportsbook is important too, and that’s where Tipico can help you.
Sports Betting in Ohio through Tipico
The first thing you need to do to prepare is to check out Tipico’s online sportsbook (https://www.tipico.com/us/). We already told you about our partnership with your Columbus Crew which will allow us to offer sports betting in Ohio as soon as possible. But we also offer easy deposits and withdrawals, a fast and reliable app, and multiple bets types for you to utilize.
In addition, we’re here with all the sports betting info you need. Whether you’re an Ohio resident or from out-of-state, we’ll keep you updated on the laws, but our experts will also keep you updated on the best picks and the biggest games. With our Inside Edge, you’ll stay up to date on all the biggest news in sports that can affect how you bet.
Sports betting in Ohio is legal and will be here soon. Are you ready?