What’s the point of betting on sports in Ohio if you can’t bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes?
Luckily for Ohioans, they don’t have to worry about not being able to do that. Sports betting in Ohio, once legalized, will allow fans to bet on the Buckeyes and other collegiate athletics, according to the proposed governing body in the state.
The Ohio sports betting bill has been approved by the state House and the state Senate. According to language prepared by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which the current sports bill appoints to oversee sports betting in Ohio, gamblers may bet on Ohio’s professional sports teams, motorsports, Olympic events, professional golf, and tennis, as well as major college sports such as football and basketball.
Some states, including heavyweights New Jersey and New York, do not allow betting on college sports
The precise details of the sports and types of bets allowed under Ohio law are not finalized.
When Will Ohio Sports Betting Launch?
That’s the good news. The bad news is that sports fans in Ohio will have to remain patient, as wrangling over the law will not lead to sports betting until some time in 2022, possibly not until mid-year.
At least two committees must still examine a sports betting bill, but with the holiday break and legislators absent from Columbus, it’s not likely that a vote will occur until January at the earliest. Current Ohio law states that sports betting must be operational by Jan. 1, 2023. Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he will sign a bill once it comes to his desk.
Once Gov. Dewine signs the bill, the Ohio Casino Control Commission can begin accepting applications for sports betting licenses. That process can take months, and the approval period could take at least that amount of time.
Possible Legal Challenges to Ohio Sports Betting
There may also be other hurdles to sports betting launching in Ohio. At least one organization, the American Policy Roundtable, is planning a legal challenge on constitutional grounds, and a would-be governor is also aiming to halt the current bill for different reasons.
According to the American Policy Roundtable, gambling may exist in Ohio under just three scenarios: “Charitable, The Ohio Lottery, and the 4 brick and mortar casinos. Sports gambling, especially on mobile devices, falls well outside any of those 3 exceptions to the constitutional prohibition,” the group has said in a statement posted on its website.
There have also been opponents to the bill in the state, including Democrat John Cranley, the Mayor of Cincinnati, who is planning to challenge DeWine for the Governor’s seat in 2022. Cranley supports legalized sports betting in his state but thinks oversight should come from the Ohio Lottery Commission, not the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Cranley worries that the OCCC will not deliver on the state mandate that all taxes from sports betting must go toward public education.